When you bite into one of the current harvest of Hill Country peaches, make sure you have a napkin handy. The juice is sweet and abundant, and it’ll likely flow down your chin and all over your hand.
Eating a peach out of hand can’t be beat, but there are five easy recipes to dress up these beauties in desserts your whole family will love.
Grilled Peaches: Cut freestone peaches in half and remove the pit. Melt butter, a little brown sugar or agave nectar, and a dash of cherry, peach or rhubarb bitters, if desired, together. Brush the cut side of the peaches with the butter and lay on the grill until warn and soft. When you remove the peaches from the grill, brush with a little more butter.
Marinated Peaches and Cherries: Cut up pitted peaches and cherries. Soak in a little orjeat, an almond syrup; amaretto or Frangelico. Top with whipped cream. Drizzle a little of the syrup or liquor over the whipped cream.
Easy Peach Ice Cream: Let your favorite vanilla ice cream, such as Blue Bell or Haagen-Dazs Five, warm up slightly. Put it in a blender with slices of fresh peaches and mix them slightly. If you want it soft, just serve it that way with a spoon. Or put it in the freezer for a few minutes and let it harden slightly. When you’re ready to serve it, drizzle a little cherry syrup or amaretto on top. (Or go all out and make it a milkshake with added milk.)
Peach Shortcake: Slice pitted peaches and macerate them in a little sugar. Spoon peaches and juice on sliced pound cake, angel food cake, biscuits or even cornbread. Top with whipped cream and drizzle a fruity balsamic reduction, such as one flavored with figs, on the side.
Peachy Smoothie: Pit a peach and toss it in a blender with watermelon, Greek yogurt or frozen yogurt, and either honey or agave nectar, to taste.
Don’t forget that the Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market, 255 E. Basse Road, is celebrating the peach each Sunday this month. Items available during Everything Peach include fried peach hand pies, peach ice cream, peach smoothies, peach preserves (sweet and savory), peach Melba pie, peach sorbet, peaches and cream popsicles, peach lemonade, peach ginger pie, peach frangipane tarts, peach cake, peach-apricot-saffron macaron, meat pie with peachy accoutrement, peach-pecan and bourbon bread pudding, peach chevre and more.