Delicious things to do with a box of peaches – Peach fundamentals

A huge box of peaches

peach

We went to the Edmonds Farmers market yesterday and came home with a box of Red Haven peaches. At the end of the purchase the seller started making recommendations on what varieties of peaches are good to can and suggested I come back in a few weeks for the J.H. Hale peach. I started to question whether or not I was doing the right thing by buying so many peaches right now, but I had already done the deal. And we had done a taste test and they were delicious to eat raw. So we lugged what felt like 40 pounds of peaches back to the car and now I’m trying to decide what to do with them.

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And actually based on various sources 2 large peaches (or 3 medium) make a pound. I bought 41 peaches and most are pretty large so I think it was only about 20 pounds of peaches.

One thing I really noticed was that my peaches have a huge amount of fuzz on the, so I did a little checking on that. Did you know that peaches and nectarines are genetically the same except a nectarine has a recessive allele that results in no fuzz? I suspect that peaches at the grocery store have less fuzz due to transit and possibly washing. Whereas farmers markets or you-pick still have a lot of the fuzz.

Although the fuzz is edible my research indicates the skins/fuzz become tough when cooked. So I will blanch in boiling water for about one minute and cool them down in an ice water bath to which will stop the cooking process and make it easier to handle to peel.

Ripening. It’s unclear to me if peaches really ripen after they are picked or if they soften after they are picked. Regardless, many of my peaches are fairly hard. I separated out the ones that were soft and clearly ready and placed them in the refrigerator. I am leaving the rest out on the counter for a while. They came in nice plastic trays with partial indentations… so I placed paper towels under them and a light cloth over them to keep the sun and critters out.

Peaches and nectarines that cannot be consumed or processed immediately should be stored at temperatures as near 32F as possible and in a high-humidity atmosphere to preserve quality. In many cases the home refrigerator comes closest to meeting these storage conditions. It is best to use or process the fruit as quickly as possible since it is highly perishable under high temperatures and not well suited to prolonged cold storage (more than 14 days). http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1406.html.

When cutting peaches you may find the fruit color will darken when in contact with air.  If you can process it immediately and cover it with syrup or liquid you’re fine.  If not, you can dip the fruit in a juice that’s acidic, like pineapple juice or citrus.  I have also used powdered acidic acid diluted in water.  I haven’t tried the pineapple idea but for a sweet dish it sounds perfect. 

Options for my box of peaches:

What are my realistic options (realistic meaning what me and my husband will realistically eat and what I think is worth it to spend time on… hence, no fruit leather):

  1. Straight can slices for eating and chunks for my yogurt.
    1. Check out my post on canning procedures for peaches as well as Peach weights and measures.
    2. Based on USDA canning guide I need 11 pounds for 9 pints, so that’s what I did.  Following my steps in the link everything worked perfect.  My only complain is that getting the skins off the peaches is not very easy.
  2. Can slices for cobbler/pie using an approved thickener
  3. Peach/mango salsa
  4. Peach butter – I ended up making this. I am sometimes overly concerned about sugar, so I only used one cup of sugar and one cup of honey. It turned out pretty good but I think I probably should have cooked it a tad longer.
  5. Spiced Blueberry peach jam – I did make this using the recipe found at the NCHFP website. I found that it was very sweet… I wish it didn’t call for 5 1/2 cups of sugar but I didn’t have anything but Pomona Pectin on hand and I still need to work on my Pomona success a bit more. But it is delicious with all that sugar.  I often add a tablespoon to my yogurt at night and its perfect.  I had a little extra after filling my jars and just finished a small bowl of vanilla ice cream with the remainder on top… yummy.

trental 600 mg sanofi aventis References:

Tallclover Farms – gave me suggestion on putting between two linens.

Pick Your Own is just a great site for fruit and vegetable knowledge… when they ripe, places to find fruit, how to preserve them and various recipes.  I have found some of their recipes and steps complicated when they didn’t need to be and other processes worked to fine (specifically canning spaghetti sauce).

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