Enjoy sweet peaches, nectarines in summer desserts

Is the peach a fuzzy nectarine a fuzzless peach? The nectarine is botanically defined as a "half-breed of plum and peach," but the puzzle is not solved that easily, for the nectarine tree may grow from a peach pit and vice versa and each of the trees can produce the fruit of the other.

Recipes for nectarine and peaches are interchangeable however, although there is a slight difference in the flavor of the fruits. So you must decide for yourself which is more to your liking. Since both are likely to be on the market at the same time, you may enjoy cooking with both. Either is suitable fr salads, conserves, chutneys, and if you have a sweet tooth, this is the time of year to indulge in luscious ripe peach or nectarine desserts. Deep Dish Nectarine Pie 2 1/2 pounds fresh nectarines 1/4 cup flour 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted 1/2 teaspoon almond extract Dough for single crust pie pastry 1 egg yolk, beaten 2 teaspoons water 1 teaspoon sugar

Slice nectarines from pits, and combine with flour, brown sugar, butter or margarine, and almond extract in buttered baking dish 8 inches square or 9 inches round, 2 1/2 inches deep. Top with singe-crust pastry. Brush with egg and water mixture, then sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 degrees F. about 45 minutes or until browned. Serve warm with plain cream, whipped cream, or ice cream. It will serve 8. Fresh Fruit Compote 12 small coconut macaroons, crumbled (about 1 1/2 cup) 3 cups sliced, fresh peaches, peeled 1 1/2 cups sliced, fresh plums, peeled 1 1/2 cups halved strawberries 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1/2 cup water

But a 2 1/2-quart casserole. Cover bottom with a layer of crushed macaroons. Follow with a layer of peaches, plums and strawberries then a layer of crumbs. Repeat the fruit layers ending with crumbs on top. Sprinkle brown sugar over crumbs. Drizzle water over all. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven 20 to 30 minutes or until fork tender. Fresh Peach Brown Betty 4 cups soft bread crumbs 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted 3 cups fresh peaches, sliced 1/2 cup water 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon lemon rind 3/4 cup sugar Vanilla sauce

Moisten crumbs with butter or margarine. Place alternate layers of crumbs and peaches in butter baking dish, using crumbs for first and last layers.Sprinkle each layer of peaches with combined water, lemon juice, lemon rind, and sugar. Cover and bake in a 325-degree F. oven about 1 hour. Peach and Cream Cheese Tart Tart Shell 1 cup flour 2 tablespoons sugar 1/8 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoon cold butter, cut into bits 1 egg yolk 1 tablespoon cold water Filling 3 cups water 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 to 4 ripe peaches, peeled 1 8-ounce package cream cheese 2 tablespoons sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons peach syrup from poaching peaches 2 tablespoons finely minced crystallized ginger 1/4 cup apple jelly

Preheat over to 400 degrees F. Mix together flour, sugar, and salt in medium bowl. Cut in butter with fork or pastry blender until consistency of coarse meal. Add egg yolk and water and mix until dough forms a ball. Roll out pastry to fit 9-inch tart shell. Gently press into pan. If pastry tears, lightly smooth together. Chill 10 minutes. Prick sides and bottom of pastry thoroughly with fork. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Combine water, sugar, and vanilla in large saucepan. Bring to boil and cook until syrupy, 4 or 5 minutes. Add peaches and reduce heat to low. Poach gently , turning occasionally, until tender. Allow to cool in syrup, then slice and drain thoroughly on paper towels.

Beat cream cheese with sugar and peach syrup until smooth. Mix in 1 tablespoon ginger. Spread cheese mixture over bottom of tart shell and arrange peach slices in a design on top.

In small pan, melt jelly and brush over peaches to glaze. Sprinkle with remaining ginger. Chill well before serving. Serves 8. Peach-Almond Ice Cream 2 cups mashed peaches 1 15-ounce can sweetened condensed milk 3/4 cup water 1/4 teaspoon almond extract 1 cup heavy cream, whipped 1/2 cup blanched, chopped, toasted almonds

Mash peaches and mix with milk and water. Add almond extract. Pour into freezing tray and freeze until firm. Remove from freezer for about 30 minutes, then break up into small chunks and beat in mixer until fluffy. Fold in whipped cream and almonds. Return to freezer tray and refreeze. Stir slightly before serving. Serves 6.

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