Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sugarbush Mountain Peaches...

...or When a Simple Recipe Becomes Complex. This is a super-simple recipe: you peel and halve peaches, put them in a baking dish, pour on maple syrup, bake, reduce the syrup, serve. No problem: easy! (So easy that I forgot to take pictures...) Except I had a few issues in the making of this dish.
The first issue was with the peaches. I went to the farmer's market to find some peaches that were ripe but not one-dimensionally sweet. I searched and dithered and tasted, and finally bought some peaches I liked pretty well. After I had blanched them, though, the reality hit me: these were cling peaches! They would not let themselves be halved, no matter what. OK, I thought, these babies are going in the oven whole. End of story. So I took a smaller baking dish to make up for having less surface area to cook, buttered it, put in the peaches, got out the maple syrup, and began pouring. Nasty green patches came out and floated on top of the peaches. Ew! Time to wash off the peaches, wash out the dish, and go to the store for more maple syrup. Once I came back, the thing came together quickly and easily. This was a simple dish, and I'm sure it would have had a more toasty taste and melting texture had I used halved freestone peaches, but these disappeared in a matter of minutes and tasted great with ice cream. I bet that if you thought ahead and chilled these, as Maida wants you to, they'd be fabulous with Greek yogurt for breakfast.

Here's the recipe, such as it is. Make sure your peaches are freestone and your syrup is sufficiently fresh, and you're home free.

Sugarbush Mountain Peaches

4 freestone peaches, ripe but not squishy
1/2 c. maple syrup

Heat the oven to 350. Put on a pot of water to boil. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish. Cut a little x in the bottom of each peach. When the water comes to a boil, put the peaches in the water and let blanch for about a minute. Cool under cold running water, and peel: the skin should slip off easily. Cut the peeled peaches in half and lay in the baking dish; drizzle the maple syrup over them. Bake for about 20 minutes, basting 2-3 times, until the peaches are tender. Take the peaches out of the syrup with a slotted spoon and then pour the syrup into a small saucepan. Bring the syrup to a boil over medium-high heat and boil hard for about 3 minutes--230 on a candy thermometer, if you have one handy. Pour the syrup over the peaches. You can let this cool a bit and then serve it warm with ice cream, as I did, or you can refrigerate this and serve it cold, plain or with yogurt.

1 comment:

  1. I have never had maple syrup go bad before. Oh, well.