Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Millions of Peaches

I am trying to get back in the swing of things. Writing is tough when you haven’t done it in a while! I thought a good way to start thinking about recipes again is to use what is in season. Seems simple, right? Today, I am talking peaches.


These are one of my favourite fruits and one that really seems to only be tasty when it is truly in season. I bought a tub of peaches this week at the store and now trying to figure out what to do with them! Sure, I could just eat them as they are, but that isn’t really any fun.


Here is what I have been using peaches for:


Drinking - I knew there had to be a way to incorporate alcohol. I know you can use peaches in things like sangria. I did a little googling and came across a recipe called Peach Smash. I luckily had all the ingredients for it and needed to get rid of some whiskey. Perfect.


Peach Smash
1 1/12 oz of simple syrup
1-2 oz water (or juice)
half a peach sliced (save one for a garnish)
½-1 tsp of lemon juice (or slice of lemon, I just didn’t have any fresh)
5-6 mint leaves (save a sprig for garnish)
2 oz whiskey (I used Makers Mark Bourbon)
Ice


First, simple syrup.. This is something that does not hurt to have on hand and it really easy to make. All you need to do is combine equal parts white sugar and water in a small pot on medium heat. Cook it and stir occasionally until all the sugar is dissolved (takes 5-10 min). Pour it in a jar or squeeze bottle and put it in the fridge to cool.


Now, get a cocktail shaker out. Spank your mint (Yes, slap it in your palms) to release the oils. I learned this from a bartending tutorial at a fair.. and it is one of the best tricks ever. I had no idea what I was missing on until I learned about spanking mint.


Add the mint, simple syrup, water and peach. Get a muddler and smash it up. and the ice and the whiskey and shake it. Pour over ice and garnish with the piece of peach and the mint sprig.


Now if you are not into alcohol, another great way to use up peaches is add them to a smoothie. Seriously peach makes all fruit smoothies better. My favourite combo right now is:
  • Grapefruit
  • Peach
  • Berries
  • Spinach
  • Banana
There is no better way to start your day… green smoothies are the best!


Dessert - OK, I know these are obvious, but I just haven’t been home much to use my peaches in a more savoury dish. I know it’s possible. It was my sister’s birthday over the weekend and I promised to bring in a dessert. I decided to make a peach upside down cake. Why? I figured, why is pineapple the only upside down dessert? Peaches seems like such an easy substitute. I had a recipe that is not vegan and decided to switch it from a non-vegan pineapple-upsidedown cake, to a vegan peach upside down cake. (original recipe)


Peach Upside Down Cake


Ingredients


Topping
  • 2 peaches, slided
  • 1 small container of raspberries
  • ⅓ cup vegan margarine (or butter, I just didn’t have any earth balance)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
    • note: I make my own. In a food processor combine 1 cup of white sugar and ½ -1 tbsp molasses and process until combined


Cake
  • ½ cup margarine (or butter, softened)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp chia and 3 Tbsp water (two make two chia eggs)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup of milk (I used coconut)
  • 1 ¾ cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt


Fruit topping (Optional)
  • 1-2 peaches, sliced
  • more raspberries - you should have plenty left over


Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. First make the topping. Melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar. Pour it into a 8X8 baking dish (Note: original recipe called for 9”, but I couldn’t find one, 8” worked well).


Slice two peaches and put them on top of the brown sugar butter mixture. This will be the top of the cake, so make it pretty if you want. Add raspberries. I used about 8-10 here.


Now make the cake. In a big bowl, cream the margarine, sugar, egg and vanilla. Then add the remaining ingredients and mix until combined and smooth. Pour the batter over the peaches in the pan and if want, sprinkle a little cinnamon on top. For those that don’t know, I am a little obsessed with cinnamon.. I put it on everything. It is good either way, but cinnamon goes nice with peach.
Bake at 350 F for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.


Now, once cooked, let it cool for 10-15 minutes and then run a knife around the edgo and invert on to a serving dish.


When I did this, my cake fell apart. I repaired as best as I could, but it made all my work look messy. To distract everyone from this, I decided to top with fresh fruit. I am glad it happened because this cake is super, super sweet. The fresh fruit helped cut the sugar a bit. If you want to do this, after inverting the cake, take another sliced peach and put on top and add more fresh raspberries.


Let cool and serve. I brought coconut milk ice cream with it and it worked well. but is great on its own too.


This dessert was a total hit with the vegan and non vegans alike.


** I am having trouble getting pictures up with posts right now... Hopefully will resolve the issue soon.

4 comments:

  1. this season i did not get many peaches. i did try some grilled though - really good!

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  2. The last time I had whiskey was when I lived in Scotland, I haven't had since I moved back to Wales, I do like the sound of your Peach Smash, Hope the photograph issue is resolved soon. I've had peaches twice this year, in a curry and au naturale. Happy VeganMofo.

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  3. Your recipes sound awesome. I didn't have much luck with peaches this year. Maybe I'll have better luck next year. Happy Vegan Mofo.

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  4. Hi Caitlin! I'd love to chat about food, your blog and Zomato launching in Calgary! Let me know the best email to reach you at and I'll be in touch :) Thank you!

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