I put them into my morning smoothie, which I prefer on the thick side with LOTS of ice, so that it resembles a milkshake and is best eaten a spoon. Once, I accidentally dropped a peach pit into the blender, which proved to be no match for the powerhouse that is my Vitamix (if you love to blend things as often as I do, then this is your machine.)
I halve peaches, brush them with olive oil, and grill them for salads, like this gorgeous one I created, last summer. If you’ve never grilled fruit, give it try. Grilling adds complexity to both the flavor and the texture of fruit, caramelizing its surface and intensifying its natural sweetness.
Peaches also pair beautifully with various cheeses, from tangy gorgonzola and goat cheese to nutty melted Gruyere. One of my favorite peach-cheese partnerships occurred when I made these Brie and Spiced Peach Strudels, which bake up crisp on the outside, thanks to buttery and flaky phyllo dough. I’ll make a batch and freeze them, assembled but unbaked, so that I can have one whenever the craving strikes (which conveniently happens every night, until they are gone.)
I’ll swap out blueberries for peaches in my famous crumb cake, churn them into ice cream, bake them in cast iron on the grill, and even turn them into the quintessential outdoor summer dessert: s’mores.
And yes, on occasion, I’ll simply eat the peach as it is.
I hadn’t made any homemade pop tarts in a while, a recipe that I originally created for my mini-pie cookbook (where they were called “pocket pies.”) So, I decided to try a version inspired by peach cobbler, something that we often had for dessert during the summer when I was growing up. If you can’t decide between pie and cobbler, this is your dream treat. It has a filling enclosed by a flaky crust, but the top is sprinkled with nutty cinnamon-streusel. Bonus: It’s also drizzled with glaze.
I think that these are best served as dessert, but I might have had a few bites for breakfast, too. You know it’s going to be a good day when it starts with peaches, pie crust and streusel.
These portable treats are another one of my homemade takes on popular Pop Tarts, with flavors inspired by a summer favorite: fresh peach cobbler! Fresh spiced peach jam is enclosed in a flaky pastry crust. The pies are topped with a vanilla glaze and toasted pecan streusel.
- 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
- 1 cup (250 mL) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) cold buttermilk
- 2 pounds (500 g) peaches, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 (60 mL) cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) ground nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup (150 mL) packed light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup (150 mL) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) salt
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 3 cups (750 mL) confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract
- 3-5 tablespoons (45-75 mL) whole milk
- Prepare the crust dough: In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt to combine. Scatter butter overtop and pulse several times, until the butter is the size of peas. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine egg yolks and buttermilk. Add half of the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring with a fork to combine. Add the remaining buttermilk mixture, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, stirring after each addition, until dough begins to hold together in moist clumps.
- Transfer dough to a large piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a 6-inch (15 cm) square. Wrap the square tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour (or up to 2 days.)
- Prepare the peach filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the peaches, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the peaches have broken down and the mixture has thickened, 20-25 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one half of the dough to a 13-inch (33 cm) square. Using a paring knife or a pizza cutter, trim square to an even 12-inches (30 cm). Cut the square into 12 rectangles, 3 by 4 inches (7.5 by 10 cm) each. Transfer rectangles to the prepared baking sheets, spacing apart.
- Brush the surfaces of the rectangles with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water). Place about 1-1/2 to 2 tbsp (22 to 30 mL) of the peach filling in the center of each rectangle.
- Repeat the process in Step 5 with the second half of the dough, creating 12 more rectangles. Place one rectangle on top of each peach filling, pressing edges firmly to seal. Crimp edges with the tines of a fork.
- Freeze pies for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
- Prepare the streusel: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, flour, pecans, cinnamon and salt. Using your fingers, rub in the butter until moist clumps form. Spread the mixture on the baking sheet in an even layer. Bake until the mixture is deep golden brown and bubbling, 15-20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then break the streusel into small clumps.
- Bake the pop tarts: Pierce the tops of tarts 3 or 4 times with the tip of a sharp knife. Bake for 28 to 34 minutes, switching positions of baking sheets halfway through, until pies are puffed and golden brown. Let cool on sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes.
- Prepare the glaze: In a bowl, whisk confectioner's sugar, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of the milk to combine. Add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired drizzling consistency is achieved -- thick but pourable.
- Drizzle the glaze over the cooled pop tarts and sprinkle the tops with the streusel (leftover streusel can be stored in a zip-top bag and frozen.) Allow the glaze to set at least 15 minutes before serving.