To me Blackboy peaches are as much a part of late summer as dry leaves and ripe tomatoes. Everyone’s Mum bottled them and that was no bad thing. I’m sure that bottled Blackboy peaches on weetbix for breakfast made me the girl I am today – damn straight.
But the days of rows of quart sized jars of preserves lining the pantry shelves are no longer practical for a lot of families so we are always looking for new ways to use the harvest. Here’s two great recipes I’ve come across recently for using Blackboy peaches both fresh and preserved.
The first recipe is one that uses the syrup left over from bottling Blackboy peaches (and lets face it we’re still going to bottle some because they’re beautiful that way). A customer gave me this recipe at the end of last season and I saved it to try with this years crop. You mix the leftover syrup from bottling your peaches with the same quantity of merlot red wine and put it through an ice-cream maker or freeze it and put it through a food processor and re-freeze it. The recipes says to fold whipped egg whites through it before re-freezing to make it lighter but I didn’t. It makes an unbelievably excellent sorbet for grown ups.
The second recipe is spiced peaches from my friend Ali. She bottled golden queen peaches in little pint jars and served them with a lovely ripe camembert. I’ve used Blackboy peaches and served them with a nice cheddar but they’d be great with blue cheese too. The sweet/sour syrup and spices compliment the peaches beautifully.
- 2 kg peaches
- 12 black peppercorns
- 4 cardamon pods
- 2 star anise
- 600 ml white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 kg sugar
Bring wine vinegar and spices to a boil, add the sugar and stir over a low heat until completely dissolved.
Halve and stone the peaches – you may choose to peel them but I never do especially if the skins are unblemished – just give them a wipe with a soft cloth to remove the “fur”.
Bring the syrup back to a rolling boil and add the peach halves and simmer for 4-5 minutes – be careful not to over cook so test by piercing with a sharp knife.
Transfer peaches to sterilized jars.
Boil the syrup for a few more minutes to reduce the syrup slightly and pour over the peaches making sure you have distributed the spices between the jars and the peaches are completely covered.
Seal and label and leave for a couple of months for the flavours to develop. This sweet and sour pickle is delicious with cold meats and divine with cheeses.
Ali uses this recipe with Golden Queen peaches which hold their shape and colour and nectarines which impart a lovely pink colour to the syrup.
So there you have it – a couple of new recipes to try and if you don’t have a blackboy peach tree but you’d like to grow one let me know, I have a few stones spare and they are one of the few stonefruit that will grow true from a stone.