Palisade Peaches in Vanilla Bean Syrup

August is here and Palisade Peaches are in their prime. Last year Chef Sean made some vanilla bean syrup for his canned peaches, and they were some of our FAVORITE jars to open in the winter. Looks like we’ve now started a yearly tradition.

Peaches in Vanilla Syrup

These peaches are pretty easy to make. This post here isn’t the place to learn the basics of canning, so be sure to familiarize yourself with sterilizing jars, water baths, etc. if you’ve never canned before. I also don’t have ratios and proper measurements… it’s more of an idea for you home canners to try.

First, Sean made a vanilla bean syrup by boiling equal parts sugar and water with a couple vanilla beans that he sliced in half long-ways and scraped out the beautiful caviar-like black beads. He let this reduce and cool completely.

Next, the peaches were blanched, which means boiled for a few minutes and then plunged into an ice bath. This allows the skins to be easily removed.

When cool to the touch, he sliced them in half and removed the pits, stacked them in jars, covered them in syrup, and processed them in a water bath for 15-20 minutes. After removing the jars from the boiling water, set them somewhere and allow them to cool. You’ll hear the pop of the lids after a little while, letting you know they’re properly sealed. Store in a cool place until winter.


Bourbon Peach Sorbet

Peaches. I just love them. I wait for them all year until they are local, ripe, delicious, juicy, sweet, velvety, irresistible… I guess I should say I long for them all year and then eat as many as possible until they are out of season. Then I wait and wait and wait..

Well, it’s that time of year: peach season! PEACH SEASON! I am thrilled! I was consumed by the thought of peaches today after Nathan Miller, the esteemed chef/baker/chocolatier from The Tasterie Truck, asked some friends if they had any requests for desserts with local Colorado peaches.  It had me thinking of peaches all day, and on a near-100 degree day, I had Bourbon Peach Sorbet on my mind when I came home from work.

It’s super easy if you have a Vitamix. You can make sorbet in less than one minute with fresh, seasonal fruits and add as little sugar as you’d like.  I like that.

I added a peach (pit removed, of course), 1/4 cup Maker’s Mark, 1/2 tsp homemade vanilla extract, 1 TB agave nectar, and 2 cups of ice to the Vitamix. Then, with the lid on and the tamper in place, steadily turn it up to 10, then high, tamping it along the way.  It will form 4 golfball size domes when it is done. Turn it off, and serve.
This sorbet was an ice-cold velvety peach delight.  And, there was just enough bourbon for the flavor to come out without overpowering it and making it taste like a whisky cocktail.  It has inspired me to do more with peaches this weekend, and has me eager to taste Nathan’s creations for The Tasterie Truck.  Visit their Facebook page to find out where they are and what they’re serving.  I’m known to be a fan of the whoopie pie.

Peach and Lettuce Smoothie

How can someone love a Vita-Mix so much? The past 8 months have been so fantastic thanks to this workhorse of a kitchen machine. Every morning I drink a green smoothie that is made of oranges, lettuce or another leafy green like kale or spinach, and frozen blueberries or raspberries. It is simple and a very nice way to start the day.
Peaches are in season here in Colorado, so I am pleased to start the day with local, seasonal produce that hasn’t been shipped in from Florida or California. This is my low carbon footprint breakfast drink that I’ll enjoy until I bid farewell to my favorite fuzzy fruits…

Into the Vita-Mix goes 2 or 3 peaches (pitted, of course) and as much lettuce as you can stuff in there. I have an heirloom mix I picked up at the Farmers’ Market. Add a little water and some ice cubes if you’d like it cold. Turn it up to speed 10, then high, then enjoy.

Vegan Peach Cobbler

I usually do not make vegan desserts, but I was out of eggs and had a lot of ripe peaches, so I thought I’d make up a vegan peach cobbler. It turned out really good and I would definitely make it again.

  • 3 ripe peaches, thinly sliced
  • 2 TB ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 1 tsp baking powder (a little less if baking at higher altitude)
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup plain rice milk
  • 2 TB coconut fat (skimmed from the top of an undisturbed can of coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup pure Vermont maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350. In a Pyrex pie dish, arrange the thin slices of peaches and sprinkle with ginger.
In one bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl, mix well, and add to the flour mixture. Mix until just combined, pour over the peaches, and bake for 35 minutes until the top is set and nicely golden brown. Enjoy.
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