summer in georgia & peaches for weeks July 18, 2011

Around here, we’re really fortunate to have summers full of local peaches. Growing up, they were one of my dad’s favorite foods and they made appearances at our house fairly regularly. Sliced on pound cake or angel food cake, on top of cottage cheese the old school way. In the colder months, he’d even eat canned peaches straight up with a spoon. While I’m not a proponent of the tinned variety, I’m a huge fan of the fresh ones grown here in the South. When the Georgia Peach Council reached out and offered me a case of peaches from Pearson Farm here in Georgia, there was really no way to say no. I’ve been buying these peaches at my local farmers markets for some time and they’re pretty much summertime perfection. With an entire case to play with – minus a few given to friends and neighbors – peaches have been present in our house in one way or another for weeks.

While peaches get some play in sauces and salsas, I always feel like they don’t get enough credit in the savory department. Brilliant grilled and wonderful paired with cheese, I’m a fan of eating them simply in a savory way. I mixed up some chopped fresh fennel into some softened Cypress Grove goat cheese, spread it on whole wheat bread (cut like tea sandwiches) and topped the tartines with sliced peaches and celery leaves.

Peach and Goat Cheese Tea Sandwich Tartines – makes 8

  • 8 ounces softened fresh Cypress Grove goat cheese – I used the plain here but Purple Haze would be amazing, too
  • 1 small fennel bulb – white parts roughly chopped (save the fronds for another day)
  • 8 slices of light whole wheat or multi-grain bread – crusts cut off
  • 2 ripe peaches – sliced
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed celery leaves – you could also use watercress or arugula leaves
  • salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

- In a small bowl, stir together the chopped fennel and goat cheese. Spread 1 ounce on each of the 8 pieces of bread. Top with 4-5 slices of fresh peach. Garnish with celery leaves (or other greens) and sprinkle each top with a bit of salt & fresh ground black pepper.

There’s also the ice cream. We’ve been tinkering with Alton Brown’s vanilla ice cream recipe, which is pretty much the perfect ice cream to use as a launching pad for other flavors. The base recipe already calls for peach preserves so it’s a natural start for some form of peach ice cream. I roasted the peaches in a little sweet Marsala wine to give them a little more depth and caramelized taste…then they got chopped up and added last minute to the ice cream along with a tablespoon of bourbon. – you could also reinforce the Marsala by using that, instead.  The booze helps the ice cream texture & keeps it soft and creamy. The roasted frozen chunks interspersed throughout the ice cream are incredible – you could roast these with a little oil if you don’t want to include the Marsala in the roasting process. Conversely, if you want to eat the roasted peaches straight up & not in ice cream, you could leave the halves whole & top them with a dollop of whipped cream and some crumbled Amaretti cookies.

 

Marsala-Roasted Peach Ice Cream – makes 1 quart -  adapted from this Alton Brown recipe

  • 5 fresh, ripe peaches – cut in half and pitted
  • 1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons peach preserves (not jelly)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 tablespoon good quality bourbon or sweet Marsala wine

- Preheat oven to 375. In a shallow baking pan, arrange the peach halves and pour Marsala wine evenly over each half. Roast in the oven until the flesh is soft and caramelized – about 30 to 35 minutes. Allow to cool completely then cut into a rough chop, cover and set aside.

- Combine the last 6 ingredients (including the bean and its pulp) in a large saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Bring mixture to just barely a simmer – as soon as you see a bubble reach the top, remove the pan from heat – do not let this boil. Allow to cool slightly. Remove the hull of the vanilla bean, pour mixture into lidded container and refrigerate mixture at least 4 hours to allow flavors to mingle.

- Freeze mixture in ice cream freezer according to unit’s instructions. In the last 5 minutes of churning time, add the chopped roasted peaches. The mixture will not freeze hard in the machine. Once the volume has increased by 1/2 – 3/4 times, and reached a soft serve consistency, spoon the mixture back into a lidded container and harden in the freezer at least 1 hour before serving. This will keep for several days in the freezer…but it will not last that long.

Comments

keiko Jul 18, 2011 03:07 pm

drooling! so beautiful!

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga Jul 18, 2011 04:07 pm

All these peaches and peach recipes…I love it! They all look soo good!

Rhubarb and Venison Jul 18, 2011 10:07 pm

oh dear me – this will be PERFECT for my Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil book club meeting this week! :)

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen Jul 19, 2011 03:07 am

Oh that ice cream! I must run out and get some Marsala wine ASAP.

Prerna@IndianSimmer Jul 19, 2011 04:07 am

Funny, I was looking for a peach ice cream recipe this morning to consume the boat loads of peaches I got from a friend and as an excuse to pull out m ice cream maker this season! Will be giving this a try. Love the use of marsala.

Colleen Sabot Jul 19, 2011 09:07 am

Fantastic recipes! I just canned my first batch of jelly with Pearson Farm peaches, froze several bags of the sliced beauties and made peach salsa. Can’t wait to try these tea sandwhiches!

marla Jul 19, 2011 09:07 am

You are right, no way to say no to those peaches. Love the recipes you came up with too. Goat cheese with the sweet peaches is a great idea as is that summery ice cream.

Amanda Jul 19, 2011 10:07 am

One thing I do love about living in GA is peach season! So wonderful. And this looks like an interesting recipe to try.

Mary @ Delightful Bitefuls Jul 19, 2011 11:07 am

Mmm mm! This looks incredible!!

New to your blog; happy I found you!

Mary xo
Delightful Bitefuls

Susie Bee on Maui Jul 19, 2011 02:07 pm

Coming to GA tomorrow-can’t wait for some good peaches; the ones we get here are…well, no way to describe how disappointing!

Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen Jul 19, 2011 03:07 pm

I am loving all these peach recipes. I need to make some of that ice cream now! :)

Kay Stephenson Jul 19, 2011 05:07 pm

I like that tip about the booze helping the ice cream texture. May have to give that a try this weekend.

Kathy - Panini Happy Jul 19, 2011 11:07 pm

Oh my goodness, you did that box of sweet Georgia peaches justice!

Sally Jul 20, 2011 08:07 am

Local peaches are the only ones to eat! I always feel compelled to use them as much as possible and these two recipes fit the bill! Peaches on a “tartine”! I want that for lunch. And July, I just discovered, is National Ice Cream month– the combination of preserves and caramelized peaches will make everyone very, very happy.

Lessalee Jul 26, 2011 05:07 pm

Great recipes, thanks!! I love peaches with goat cheese. Always great for grilling…add some Chevre Goat Cheese from Decimal Place Farm and drizzle some local honey on top. Also, heads up – this is the last week for peaches! Get your Pearson Farm peaches at Atlanta area markets, listed on the Facebook Market Page – https://www.facebook.com/ThePearsonFarm. Grant Park on 7/31 will be the last day til next season! It’s been fantastic.

[...] with zucchini and goat cheese {from real simple}peach and goat cheese tea sandwich tartines {from running with tweezers}goat cheese pops with herbs, pecans and bacon {from the kitchn}i think i’ve died and gone to [...]

Jen Aug 9, 2011 11:08 am

I can’t believe I never thought about peaches with goat cheese before, what a deliciously simple combination!

Georgia Peaches Aug 23, 2011 09:08 am

What an awesome group of recipes! Thanks so much for using our peaches! We’re counting down the days until the 2012 peach season starts in Georgia. We miss those little fuzzies so much already!

Angie @ Bigbearswife Sep 21, 2011 01:09 pm

I just bought some peaches!! Can’t wait to make some new things with them!