Fresh summer peaches are ripe and plentiful
Freestones and clingstones are the two main types of fresh peaches in the markets, and their names make plain their chief characteristics. With a freestone peach, the pit separates readily from the flesh when the fruit is mature.Skip to next paragraph
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The flesh of a clingstone, on the other hand, is firmly attached to the pit. Then there are the semifreestone peaches, in which the flesh separates moderately well from the pit of ripe fruit.
Most all the early peaches are either clingstone or semifreestone, while most of the later varieties are freestones.
Because they have a firmer flesh, many of those varieties have been developed for canning, although freestones are often more flavorful when eaten raw. Their flesh is often described as "melting."
When peaches are purchased for home consumption they should look good and also have a "peachy" fragrance. While a red color on the peach makes it look pretty, the background color should be yellow, or at least creamy.
Peaches that are bought when firm-ripe may be ripened in the direct sunlight, or in a bag with a few holes to allow some air circulation.
Bought in quantity during the height of the season, these fruits are easily canned or frozen, or made into delicious preserves.
They are great for eating our of hand, sliced with cold cereal, eaten with milk, cream or ice cream, or cooked with meats or in many delicious desserts. Here are a few recipes to hlep you enjoy summer peaches. Fresh Peaches and Grapes 6 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced 1 pound seedless green grapes 3/4 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Mix peaches and grapes together in a bowl. Beat cream until just barely whipped. Fold into fruits. Sprinkle top with brown sugar. Serves 6. Blueberries or raspberries would make a nice substitution for the green grapes. Summer Fruit Salad 4 cups lettuce leaves 3 cups summer fruits -- sliced peaches, plums, nectarines, seedless grapes 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds Almondine dressing: 1/3 cup vegetable oil 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar 2 tablespoons orange juice 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon basil, crumbled 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
In large bowl combine lettuce and fruits.In small bowl whisk together all ingredients for dressing except almonds. Cover and chill. Just before serving, stir in almonds. Toss salad with dressing. Top with slivered almonds. Serves 4 to 6. Tarragon Chicken With Peaches 1 frying chicken, cut up Fresh tarragon 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice 1 tablespoon oil 4 tablespoons butter 1 onion, chopped Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, optional 1 1/2 cups stock, or more to cover 6 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced Paprika
Put pieces of fresh tarragon under skin of chicken. Squeeze with lemon juice and leave for 1 or 2 hours.
Heat oil and 2 tablespoons butter and brown chicken in a casserole. Remove and lower heat to saute onion, and add salt, pepper, and turmeric. Return chicken to casserole and add stock. Simmer gently for 20 minutes.
Arrange peaches on top and dot with remaining butter. Simmer until chicken is done, another 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove to serving platter and keep warm.If there is too much liquid boil it down until there is about 1/2 cup.