Monday, June 25, 2012
Right now is the time of a Michigan fruit-lovers dream. The strawberries, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, and peaches are all available at local markets. The peaches were frost damaged this spring after our mini-summer in March. So, if you see some – buy them right away. What there is will not be around for long.
Saturday I saw the first Michigan peaches at the farmers market that I frequent. They are ‘cling’ peaches, and I purchased a one quart basket. The producer told me that they would not be selling larger baskets – such as pecks or bushels – because they have so few peaches. Cling means that the flesh of the fruit clings onto the pit. This is fine for eating, but for preserving, I prefer ‘free-stone.’ That means that the flesh does not cling onto the pit which makes it easier to cut it off for preparation of batches.
Spice Peaches Recipe from the book Local Flavors by Deborah Madison
Makes about one pint.
4 cups sliced peaches
½ cup sugar
2 long cinnamon sticks
3 cardamom seeds of pods
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
12 pieces of dried ginger candy, chopped (this is optional – I never add it)
· Peel the peaches and slice them ½ inch thick.
· Pour them into a wide non-stick skillet and sprinkle them with the sugar.
· Add the remaining ingredients except the ginger.
· Turn the burner to high and bring to bubbling, then reduce to medium and cook. Stir every few minutes until the syrup is thick – about 15 – 20 minutes.
· Remove from the heat and add the ginger if desired.
When I make the recipe I usually triple it and store the mixture in one cup containers in the freezer.