Tag Archive | "Fredericksburg peaches"

‘Everything’s Peachy’ at Quarry Farmers Market

Peaches Quarry Market 2 cropThe Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market is celebrating this year’s crop of sweet and juicy Fredericksburg peaches with special fruit treats from market vendors as well as copious amounts of at least seven or eight different varieties of peaches from Engel Farms including freestone, semi-free and cling.

For two Sundays, June 29 and July 6, the market will celebrate “Everything’s Peachy” and honor the peak of peach season with plenty of Engel Farms’ peaches along with edibles made from the farm’s fruit.

To kick off the celebration on June 29, shoppers may purchase handmade peach cobbler pie from Vintage Heart Farm, peach and amaretto sorbetto from A La Mode, peach shrub from Shrub Drinks and a sweet breakfast treat from LocaVore food truck—blue corn crepes filled with almond-tangelo mousse topped with peach jam and sprinkled with cinnamon spiked powdered sugar. For all of our four-legged friends, choose from peach granola bone dog treats and peach-banana-peanut butter ice cream from Katie’s Jar.

Peach Ice Cream Recipe

A sweet year for peaches

After 2012’s bumper peach crop and last year’s late freeze and hail which wiped out the 2013 crop, Engel Farms owner John Engel is happy with this year’s bounty.

“This year’s combination of a real winter with lots of ‘chill’ hours and the late rains put the trees in good condition for a nice crop,” he says. “Almost every afternoon, we are getting good, but not scorching sun which makes for complex sugars in the fruit and that is just the way we want it.”

The 45-acre peach orchard of 4,500 trees on his family farm in Fredericksburg harvests peaches from late May through September providing shoppers with peaches throughout the summer. During the two-week celebration, shoppers will enjoy Harvester, Red Globe, Loring, Bounty and Majestic varieties, all of which are premium peaches.

The best of every season

Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market vendors are small, independent farmers, ranchers and artisans dedicated to providing fresh products to discerning shoppers who understand seasonality and embrace the growing local food movement. Our farmers proudly grow sustainably without chemical fertilizers and pesticides and our ranchers raise animals on pasture or grass without hormones or antibiotics.

The Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market is held Sundays, rain, wind, cold or heat, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the parking lot at the Quarry near Whole Foods.

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Roasted Peaches with Vanilla, Spice and Honey

Fredericksburg peaches are in season now.

Fredericksburg peaches are starting to show up in farmers markets. This recipe, from the new “Gordon Ramsey’s Healthy Appetite” (Sterling Epicure, $24.95), uses no sugar and only a little honey to sweeten it. But the end result will please even the sweetest tooth.

Roasted Peaches with Vanilla, Spice and Honey

4-5 ripe but firm peaches
2 cinnamon sticks
2  star anise
1vanilla bean, split
3-4 teaspoons  runny honey
Generous splash of peach liqueur  or peach  schnapps or brandy (see note)
Plain yogurt, to serve

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the peaches in half and prise out the pits. Slice the peach halves into wedges and arrange on a nonstick baking  sheet. Add the spicesand vanilla bean, then drizzle over the honey and peach liqueur.

Bake the peaches for 10 to 20 minutes until they are just tender and slightly caramelized around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve with a generous spoonful of yogurt.

Note: Use apple juice to keep alcohol free.

Makes 4 servings.

From “Gordon Ramsey’s Healthy Appetite”

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Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market Celebrates First Anniversary

Two farmers bag their squash for customers.

The Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market opened a year ago in a small section of the Quarry parking lot on a blistering hot Sunday morning. A handful of vendors showed up to display their freshly picked produce,  a few meat producers and bakers were also on hand while Whole Foods handed out water to keep shoppers hydrated.

Burgundy okra

Shoppers wander through the Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market

In a year, the market has grown to about 28 vendors, and the array of goods has grown to include eggs, wild-caught salmon, hand-processed sausages and raw honey in addition to the latest seasonal offerings, such as beets, squashes of all shapes, okra, radishes, sprouts and even some early varieties of peaches from Fredericksburg.

There were also vendors with organic tamales, vegetables spreads and dips, granola and several bakers with everything from artisan breads to pastries.

We had a plan for the morning, which was to meet for brunch before going to the market, so the fresh produce wouldn’t spoil. That might not have been the best idea in the world, for we were greeted with plenty of sold-out signs and empty display cases.

Get there early.

Many of the products sell in a hurry.

We could have snacked on dumplings from Ming’s, crepes  or a pork snack from the Rolling Pig truck, which was parked there.

Still, plump kohlrabi were on a couple of tables, breakfast radishes with the pink top melting into white tips, burgundy okra and squashes, all of which filled our shopping bags, were at hand, along with some lamb sausages and a dill plant to add to the herb garden. (Here are two ideas on what to do with kohlrabi: salad and greens.)

Next Sunday, we’ll be there a little earlier.

The sponsors of the market posted the following on their Facebook page, acknowledging all that has happened in the past year: “My how time flies. 52 Sundays under our belt. 28 vendors strong. A medley of magical musicians. Thousands of customers. Lots of loving four-legged fans. A one-year anniversary celebrating local farmers, ranchers and artisanal food makers. Thank you, gracias and merci, San Antonio!”

For more information on the Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market, click here.

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