I'm having to be very picky; I didn't want to be.
Yes, this year's peach crop is a far sight better than last year's. And of course the sad year before—2008—because of the great 2007 deluge which killed our prolific peach trees, we had none.
But I got my hopes quite elevated late this spring when our first new tree budded and within days we began seeing those gorgeous orbs hanging from the branches (see my 5/31 blog, "Summer days turn perfectly peachy, but what to make with that first delightful crop?") I raced out and hauled in the first one for my breakfast cereal and then made "Miss Sallie's Pudding" with the first official yield. My mind began churning about all the peach recipes that were on my wish list--what would be next to prepare, and then the next, and then the next, and so on.
Now reality is just a little more, well, real. Second-in-Command Peach Tree, although trying its best, won't be abundant. Third-in-Command has some potential but looks less promising than #2.
The other two in the garden? Too new. Just won't be their year. To sum it up, hubby says we're still a year away from that truly bumper crop. "Next year in Jerusalem", or at least "next year in the peach orchard", will have to be our mantra.
So, grrr, grrr, grrr, with those facts in mind, what will my "cup-half-full" response be? To be an excellent steward of the peaches I've been given for the summer of 2010. To be highly strategic in my cooking plan. To experiment with a few new recipes I've been saving as well as to invest in some old favorites. And maybe, just maybe, this year's peach haul will stretch further than I anticipate.
This weekend I hit the experimentation category--a recipe for "Individual Peach Berry Crisps" from the pages of Prevention magazine. It combined two of my favorite fruit--peaches and blueberries--in a healthy but filling desert--a dessert that I'd promised myself to try but didn't in years past. It called for using individual ramekins (small quiche dishes) so every person could have his or her very own "Crisp."
No disappointments there! The desserts looked beautiful, the peaches were divine, and you can bet I savored every stewardly bite. My next well-thought-out peach dessert? The subject of another blog!
Individual Peach-Berry Crisps
1 cup peeled, chopped peaches
1/4 cup blueberries
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar (I used sugar substitute)
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon butter, softened
2 teaspoons chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put peaches in microwave-safe, covered glass dish. Add 1 teaspoon water; cook covered on high for 4 minutes until peaches are beginning to soften. In medium bowl mix peaches, blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt, and cinnamon. Let stand 10 minutes. In small bowl combine graham-cracker crumbs, oats, butter, and pecans and stir until mixture comes together. Coat 2 (6-ounce) ramekins with cooking spray. Divide peach mixture evenly between dishes. Top each with half of the graham-cracker mixture. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until topping is golden and peaches are heated through. Serves 2. Recipe can be doubled.