Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Remember my stressing over the peaches falling to the ground last week?  Well, I decided to go check the peaches still in the tree, and see if they would release easily.  Turns out only two peaches wanted to hold on, and the rest?  Well, here's what 6 1/2 lbs of small backyard peaches looks like!

Don't start drooling just yet.  By now you know I only present the beautiful scenes in my pictures.  If there's weeds next to a garden plant, I just make sure I don't include that in the photo.  If the pets are being cute on the floor, and there's a tumbleweed of fur in the corner, I just change the angle of the photo.

And in the cases of these peaches, here's the FLIP side of all the top peaches in the above photo.

HUGE difference, right?  I have no idea why each peach has an ugly side and a photogenic side...I guess they're just like us humans, right?  ;-)  Seriously though - that is some real ugliness!  I even found one with a bug buried deep in it (just left of center, after bug-extraction).

I guess this is what happens when you don't spray your home crops with pesticides, fungicides, etc?  I'm thinking I'll be peeling all the peaches and preserving the good parts (at least 1/2-3/4 of each peach), and maybe seeing if there's enough to make a cobbler?

In the meantime, let's get that ugly visual out of memory....this looks sooooo much better!


The content above was typed up Sunday night, after I'd harvested the peaches and taken some pictures, and while I was still worried the peaches were going to be a total waste.  I mean look at how ugly they are if viewed from the wrong side.

Monday evening I decided to peel an ugly one and give it a taste.

Oh wow!

Ok, not a waste. Not a waste at all!  I found the ugly sides of the peaches were just a little less juicy, but that didn't hurt, because the attractive sides were SUPER juicy.  Was one side just a little more ripe?  Did the discoloration on the skin toughen it up and perhaps stop the peach from ripening/expanding on that side?  Who knows!

So I went ahead and slit an X on the bottom of each peach, blanched them for about 40-60 seconds, dropped them in an ice bath, and then peeled them.

And peeled, and peeled, and peeled.  And then pretty much needed a shower!

What a sticky, juicy, tasty mess!  The dogs were at my side the whole time...  I finally took my work to the dining room table to sit down - was getting a bit sore standing.  And once the peaches were peeled, it was time to take some more pictures.  It's funny, with the sunlight coming in the kitchen window, all I had to to was move the peaches a few inches into or out of the sun to come up with very different looking pictures based on the camera's autocorrecting...

Check out that last one - it's like art!

Once peeled, it was time to slice and measure. I was surprised I actually got six cups of (tiny) sliced peaches from those 6 1/2 lbs of whole peaches!  I didn't actually lose too much to blemishes, and the pits were fairly small.

Again, more showering needed!

Then I found a peach cobbler recipe that 1) didn't look too crazy, 2) didn't involve a lengthy amount of time cooking the peaches down before baking, and 3) halved easily.  I didn't want to use up most of my peaches in one dish in case I didn't like the recipe, plus Brett doesn't do peaches.  Unfortunately, I used too small of a container for baking (what do you use when aiming for half of a 13x9 pan!?), so some of the bready part boiled over before it set.  The darkness in this picture is partly just the crispy brownness of the topping (had to guess baking time for a half batch), and partly from the cinnamon I sprinkled all over the top before baking.

Seriously, this is GOOD stuff!  Oh, and I'm glad I went with a lot of the suggestions about reducing the sugar in the recipe.  I found a lot of different cobbler recipes where some folks said it was perfect, and some said it was way too sweet.  Aside from different tastes, I also figured this was partly because of the peaches themselves - buy a rock hard, not-very-sweet peach from the grocery store?  Yer gonna need more sugar.  Work with these super sweet ones I'd just had fall into my hands when I gently touched them on the tree?  Less sugar!  I went with about 3/4 the amount of sugar in both parts of the recipe (the topping and the peaches) and that did well.  I could maybe go as little as 1/3 if I make this recipe again.

Which I might.


Since I still have four cups of slices peaches!  ;-)


anne marie in philly said...

(stands by the internet, fork and plate in hand)

Jeph said...

Back off! My peach cobbler! ;-)

(Got the comments working again...not sure why you were able comment when others, myself included, weren't?!)