Hollabaugh Bros., Inc.
(8/2016) As the mother of three children, I find that each year, summer goes by faster and faster. Although certain points of the summer make us a bit sad -- to realize that the season is fleeting, and back to school is right around the corner -- there are certain highlights that help us savor summertime.
Peaches are now in season, and they are a fresh, sweet, juicy, delicious prize of the summer. Here at Hollabaugh’s, we are thrilled to see our early peach crop starting to arrive. The late spring frost affected our early peaches, but we are encouraged that the coming weeks will be bountiful, full of the sweet smells and flavors of peaches.
Peaches bloom earlier than apples, which makes them more susceptible to damage from late frosts, which growers experienced this year. Blooms that survive and turn into fruits often drop once they start to form as a result of that frost damage. Fruit that makes it to full development can often have what is referred to as a "split seed", when the pit
splits in half. It does nothing to the quality of the fruit itself, but it makes it more difficult to work with and affects its overall shelf life.
Just like apples, there are thousands of varieties of peaches, with very different characteristics. "Freestone" (will come off the pit) vs. "semi-freestone" (will not come off the pit), for example: people typically prefer freestone (especially when they are interested in canning), but early in the season, many of the varieties tend to stick to the
pit. They are delicious and sweet and juicy, and well worth the effort to fight off the pit. (Sometimes they are referred to as "cling", but Cling is actually a variety of peach that is typically grown in California.) Late season peaches tend to be all freestone, which is why, if you are interesting in canning, it is best to wait until prime peach season – August.
Peaches grow around their pit, so when you have a peach with a misshapen pit, you’ll often have a misshapen peach. In the case of the very popular "donut peach" variety, that’s a good thing! They look like little UFOs as a result of their squatty, small pits… but oh boy, are they sweet and juicy!
Peaches can be either white or yellow fleshed. White peaches tend to be what are called "sub-acid", which means they have a lower acidity level. From an eating standpoint, they’re just pure, sweet, delicious peaches. They don’t have the characteristic "tang" that yellow peaches have (which tend to have higher acidity levels).
Be sure to stop out to your local farmers’ market to pick up some of your own local peaches. Try preparing a few of the following recipes, to help you and your family savor the goodness of summer.
Several years ago, the Hollabaugh family took on a cookbook project – compiling all of their family favorites, and taking submissions from their staff "family". This recipe was submitted to the cookbook by a coworker of mine, Karen Szoke. The staff at Hollabaugh’s request this yummy treat from Karen as soon as peaches start coming in. It is perfect for
breakfast, an afternoon snack, or as a dessert!
German Peach Cake
Recipe courtesy of "The Hollabaugh Family Cookbook"
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ cup flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4-5 large peaches, peeled and sliced
- 1-2 Tbl. cinnamon & sugar mixture
- 1 Tbl. butter, cut into small pieces
- Mix the sugar, butter, eggs, flour, baking soda, and vanilla in a large bowl.
- Spread into a greased 9x13 pan (do not use smaller pan).
- Arrange peaches in rows on top. Dot with butter.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
Grilling is a way of life for so many of us during the summertime. Why not try something different and grill up some fresh peaches the next time you fire up the grill? You won’t be sorry you did! Talk about a mouthwatering way to enjoy this sweet, summertime fruit.
Grilled Peaches with Honey Cinnamon Sauce
Recipe courtesy of Everyday Made Fresh http://www.everydaymadefresh.com/
- 6 peaches
- 1 Tbl. oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup honey
- Wash and slice peaches in half.
- Remove pits, and brush both sides of the peach with oil.
- Grill over indirect heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until both sides are caramelized from the grill grates.
- Heat the honey in a small microwave safe bowl for 30 to 45 seconds.
- Whisk in the cinnamon and serve over the warm peaches.
My family vacations in South Carolina each summer, and if you’ve never been…you are missing out. The southern states have the most amazing peaches to offer, due to their warm growing climate. Although this recipe is for a "southern" cobbler, be assured that it will be just as delicious using fresh, local peaches! Enjoy it with a scoop of vanilla ice
cream for a summertime dessert staple.
Southern Peach Cobbler
Recipe courtesy of www.recipesarea.com
- 8 fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- Additionally, mix together:
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.
- Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.
Read other articles by Carol Cogliano