30 Pounds of Peaches: Salsa and Sorbet

That has been my answer this week to the question, “what did you do this weekend?” I picked up a bulk share of peaches from our farmers (Dragonfly Farms) on Saturday and left them to ripen on the counter. By Sunday, most were ready to go, and I set to work processing them in various ways to preserve and enjoy their mid-summer deliciousness.
I blanched and peeled a bunch* – facilitating slicing and freezing, pureeing, and salsa making.
I was told by Angel in an Apron that it was “the best peach salsa I’ve ever had.” I am inclined to agree…..but less to do with me and more to do with the peaches 🙂
This salsa would be great on grilled seafood, served with goat cheese and crackers, or as a topping for grilled meats of many kinds. We ended up eating all of it with tortilla chips, because we just couldn’t stop ourselves.

Peach Salsa
– 6 ripe peaches, peeled, small dice
– 1 large shallot, minced
– 1 cup cilantro, rough chop
– 1 jalapeno, minced (depending on heat and your preferences)
– 1 tablespoon vinegar (I used sherry)
– squeeze of lemon or lime to taste
– 1 tablespoon minced chipotle (again, to taste)
– salt and pepper to taste (I used white pepper)
tiny pinch Mexican oregano if you have it

As with any salsa, mix ingredients, taste, season, taste, season, taste….Be sure to taste test with the type of item you intend to serve it with. Some chips, for example, are quite salty, so you want to make sure it balances well. If you are serving it with grilled fish, you might want it to be slightly more acidic – or just serve with lime wedges on the side.

I also made a Ginger-Spice Peach Sorbet with a hint of heat from cayenne.

– 1/2 cup sugar
– 6-8 peeled sliced peaches
– thumb of peeled ginger
– 1 tspn vanilla
– zest of 1 lemon
– juice to taste of lemon
– spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne to taste
– pinch of salt
– splash of triple sec or other liquor

Place sugar in dry pan and heat over medium high heat until sugar melts and turns a dark amber color. I like to caramelize the sugar, giving a more complex flavor in the end result, but it is not necessary. If you are not comfortable caramelizing, just add everything to the pot and stew for about 10 minutes. Taste a piece of peach and adjust the seasoning – sweetness/sourness etc. – as needed.
I used my immersion blender to blend, but you could use a blender too. I strained the mixture through a sieve, but that is also not necessary – it just creates a smoother texture.
Chill the mixture several hours in the fridge, and then process in your ice cream maker as directed. Don’t have an ice cream machine? Pour the mixture into a metal cake pan and set into the freezer. Every 30 minutes, stir with a fork until it starts to set up. Keep raking the mixture with the fork until an icy granita forms. Alternatively, freeze into popsicles molds.

*A note on blanching/peeling: Peeling peaches is easy – just boil a large pot of water and drop 4-5 peaches in, turning with a large spoon. Scoop them out after about 60 seconds to drain or plunge into an ice bath if you are concerned about them getting over cooked. Using a small paring knife, peel off the skin of the peach. You should be able to just grab a piece of skin and then peel it away in large strips. If the skin is still sticking firmly to the flesh, you probably need to leave them in the water a bit longer.

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