Monday, July 23, 2007

Just Peachy

I have the most wonderful Apple tree. And I have the most wonderful Peach tree. Honestly, I love all my trees, but I am particularly impressed by this Peach tree. I have no idea what type it is, except that it is freestone, yellow flesh, ready in July, and keeps well on the tree for about 3 weeks. This last feature gives me lots of time to figure out what to do with 300 peaches.
These are not your little two bite peaches. These peaches weigh in at 1/2 pound each and they are bigger than the palm of my rather large hand. And the stone is rather small, so you get lots of peach.
I have been giving away peaches to favored friends, dehydrating peaches, freezing peaches, pureeing peaches, cooking with peaches, devouring peaches- I am inundated with peaches- And I am still dealing with the last of the apples. I am not even close to the last of the peaches.

But, I have been exploring some wonderful peach recipes that use lots of peaches. I have one muffin recipe that uses 1/2 cup chopped up dried peaches (about 2 peaches fresh) and 1 1/2 cups pureed peaches (about 3 peaches). It is so moist and flavorful that I want to make it often even though I can only eat so many muffins before exploding. I have been pureeing peaches and putting it in the freezer so that I can make this later in the year. I will let you in on a really good secret, psst, whisper, this is a nearly fat free, no sugar added recipe full of bran and whole wheat and peaches.

Peachy Bran Muffins- (modified from the Secrets of Fat Free Baking, by Sandra Woodruff, RD.)
2/3 cup wheat bran
1 1/2 whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar substitute (I use xylitol, but you can use Splenda or sugar or maple sugar)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup pureed fresh peaches
1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
1/2 cup chopped dried peaches
(1/3 cup chopped pecans- optional)
Mix the first 4 dry ingredients together. Stir in the peach puree and egg until just moist. Stir in the chopped dried peaches and nuts. Spoon into baking cups lined with paper or sprayed with non-stick spray to 3/4 full. They don't rise much. Bake at 350F for 15-17 minutes. Makes 10. After baking, allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve with whipped cream cheese- uh, so much for fat free.

I would need to make this recipe 40 times to use up all my peaches, sigh. That's a lot of muffins. So I have to do other things with the peaches.

This is a Peach Fluff recipe-
Peal and slice 5 large peaches. Lay the slices in a single layer on a wax paper lined tray and freeze for 12 hours or more. (This can be done months ahead and the frozen peaches can be stored in zipper bags.)
Place frozen peaches in a food processor with 1 tablespoon Brandy and process until they are a finely chopped frozen peach snow. Keep them frozen, you might need to do it in two batches and put the first batch back into the freezer. (You can do this part ahead and keep it frozen in the zipper bag.)
When you are ready to eat this- Take the frozen peach snow and 2 tablespoons sugar (or substitute) and one egg white and process it again in the food processor until it starts to fluff up (the white is getting beaten). This might take a couple of minutes.
Spoon it into pretty bowls and eat it with a vanilla cookie or two. It might serve 4 people, but around here it only serves 2. (left overs can be frozen- right!).

I have been planning to send some of Fluffysgarden to friends who are far away and under much water, but I am waiting until the weather clears a bit. I want the postal messenger to get through. Just in case Daughter of the Soil and Caroline are reading, we are thinking of you in your sogginess, and wishing we could bring you here to dry out a bit. If there is anything we can do from afar, please let us know.


kate said...

Those peaches look great - I want to have one!! Thank you for sharing the recipe ... I will come back when peaches begin their appearance in our grocery stores and try it out. I love new muffin recipes.

The fluff is a cook idea.

linda661 said...

I'm looking forward to my orchard peaches looking that great real soon. Of course, my crop is not near the size of yours -- mine are Frost Peach variety and they get so sweet on their own that they need no sugar at all.

Sad to say that I have unexpectedly lost 5 fruit trees this year to an unknown disease (1 apple, 3 plum, 1 pear), but that's another story....after buying some local grocery store produce (corn) that after 20 minutes of boiling wasn't even softened and was tasteless...well, you can imagine how much I enjoy and depend on home gardening too.

I'm just getting back into canning/dehydrating/freezing/seed saving again after a 12 year life "sabbatical" -- another long story.

Off the peach you happen to know if snow peas dehydrate well? I've done regular shelling peas before, but never snow peas....

Your blog is great. Keep sharing that country wisdom....on, well, everything......

fluffystuff said...

Kate- thank you for the comment. I went to your blog and found the most beautiful pictures I have seen of flowers, insects, and garden art. I am so impressed with your ability to mingle natures beauty with photography. I will probably spend some quality time very soon just reading/scanning your lovely work. Thank you for having such beauty available for all of us to visit.

fluffystuff said...

Hi Linda661, Thank you for your comments. I am not familiar with Frost Peach, but I will look into it. My climate has no significant chill factor, which works for most peaches, but I still like to check different plants out for compatability. I think if I plant another tree my hubby would kill me.
On the Peas- I have frozen whole snow peas with success. I have dehydrated them in 1 inch pieces and powdered the dried ones (shell and pea). They were delicious used in cracker dough and soup broth as powder. You need to split them open and dry them out flat. It doesn't take very long- like spinach. I have not tried to reconstitute them though.
I am sorry to hear about your fruit trees. You might want to contact your local agricultural agent or department to ask about the problem. The attack on the plum could spread to the peaches- similar stonefruit susceptability. Apples and pears are similar, too.
It is good to know you are coming back to the dirt. There is no food out there to compare with fresh from the garden produce. Enjoy