Before your kids have a chance to get accustomed to sugary treats, make fresh fruit your family's dessert of choice. The sweet juiciness of a perfectly ripe peach makes it ideal for a summertime dessert. Peaches are in season, depending on where you are, from May to early September.
But don’t just grab the first peaches you see. To pass as dessert, the peaches must be perfect. How can you tell? The nose knows! Some of the most gorgeous peaches have no aroma and no flavor. If you can’t smell the peaches, pass them by. A peach that doesn't smell peachy isn't going to taste peachy.
Only a yellow peach has the acid, flavor and texture to stand up to cooking. For serving raw, experiment with different varieties of both white and yellow peaches. Organic peaches are free of the multiple pesticides regularly applied in conventional orchards. Look for them at farmers markets, natural foods stores and even the supermarket.
Once your nose has led you to the most aromatic peaches, look at them. If they have a few blemishes, that’s okay. Look at the “shoulders.” Avoid peaches with “green shoulders” around the stem end, a sign that they have been picked too soon. Select a half pound per person of the most perfectly ripe, fabulously fragrant peaches.
Once you get them home, don’t refrigerate them. Let them stand at room temperature until you’re ready to serve them. Wash them carefully—no need to peel, just wipe off as much fuzz as you can. Slice them into a pretty bowl or into attractive individual serving dishes. Freestone varieties are easy to cut in half and slice into neat wedges.
Served in stemware and garnished with a dollop of plain yogurt, a drizzle of honey, and perhaps a mint leaf, peaches can easily pass for dessert. Sweet, easy and delicious, and not a refined carbohydrate in sight!
Unfortunately, it's hard to tell by appearance what texture you'll find inside. Peaches that are picked immature and refrigerated too quickly and at too low temperatures will frequently be mealy. When possible buy locally and ripen yourself at room temperature. - jerry
Jerry, that's so true. With all produce. (Wasn't there a Seinfeld episode about that?!) Nothing worse than a mealy peach. I always buy produce grown locally or as close to home as possible. Glad you do too! Spread the word. - Jean at delightfulrepast.com