Look up the words “local peach” in the dictionary and the definition will say “tastes like summer.” Well, not really, but it should. No doubt the very best way to eat and enjoy a peach is to shop local. Select a firm but ripe peach fresh picked off the tree.
That first bite each season takes you back to summers long gone, when peach juices ran down your arms and the sweet soft flavors enveloped you taste buds.
In a sister post to one I penned last week, today I continue to share recipes featuring the South Carolina peaches grown at Titan Farms. Titan is the largest producer and packer of peaches this side of the Mississippi.
Last week the post was a precursor to a cooking segment I did on Charlotte Today. On the show I shared these two easy recipes. One a cocktail that says cheers, and the other a peach chutney. The combo of sweet and spicy flavors acts as a foil for any soft local cheese such as Charlotte’s Uno Alla Volta ricotta. Layered on crackers or the popover recipe I’ll share today, this local peach chutney makes a great appetizer or savory addition to any breakfast or brunch. Its also a wonderful way to preserve the flavor of summer peaches well into fall and winter seasons to come.
In case you missed it, here is the video from the show. Take a look, then read on for more recipes. A blog post full of everything you need to feel peachy all summer through.
Easy Peasy Popovers
People think popovers are hard to bake and often talk themselves out of it before they even try. This recipe is super simple. The key is a hot muffin pan. Put it in the over as the oven preheats. Then pull it out, add a bit of melted butter to each muffin cup and immediately pour the batter in the pan. Return to the oven and you’ll just need to wait 14 minutes to enjoy your successful results.
3 local pasture raised eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. hot melted butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place a clean muffin tin on the middle rack.
Meanwhile combine the eggs, flour, milk and salt and blend well in a food processor or blender. Or you can use an immersion blender as well.
Once the oven is preheated carefully pull the hot muffin pan out of the oven. Place a bit of butter in the bottom of each muffin cup. Divide the batter filling each one about 3/4 full. This recipe will fill 5 extra large muffin cups or 6 popover pan cups or 8 standard sized muffin cups.
Bake the popover for about 14- 15 minutes. Once the popovers have risen high and are done, pull them out of the oven but let them cool slightly in the pan. This is another little popover trick… They won’t easily release from the pan when they are hot. But once they are cool, they slip right out.
Top the cooled popovers with some cream cheese or local chevre or ricotta and finish with my Titan Farms Peach Chutney and enjoy!
Peach Perfect French Toast
The chutney recipe in my first peachy blog post featured in the video has several variations. One is just to use the peaches in syrup as topping for ice cream or pound cake. Spoon it on biscuits with whipped cream for a simply peach shortcake or over a stack of pancakes or French toast for breakfast. You can make your French toast even peachier, by cutting the toast slices thick and using a serrated knife to creating a pocket in each slice.
Stuff the pocket with ripe Titan Farms peach slices. Then proceed with your favorite French Toast recipe using local milk and eggs. ( I recommend Hickory Hill Farms cream top whole milk (from Edgefield SC, not far from Titan Farms) and local pasture raised eggs – available at every farmers’ market in town.
Dip the thick peach- stuffed bread slices in the milk and egg mix until the bread as soaked in the creamy goodness. Then, pan fry in a bit of butter until each side of the toast is golden brown. Serve topped with the peaches in syrup and enjoy!
Heidi’s Favorite Peach Cobbler
I’ve been making this cobbler recipe for years with all sorts of fruit. In the winter months, I often make it with bananas and chocolate chips, but truth is, its best with summer peaches. Lots of people have told me the recipe is similar to one their mother or grandmother used to make. I suspect that somehow all of these homemade versions of this crowd pleasing recipe have the same original roots. The recipe first came to me from the pages of a wonderful Charleston cookbook published in 1998. In the book, “Mrs. Whaley Entertains” the recipe calls for a quarter cup of sugar to be sprinkled over the top of the cobbler just before baking, but when peaches are ripe and local, the cobbler is already sweet enough.
8 Tbsp melted butter
1 cup self rising flour
1 cup sugar
Whole milk – just one cup ( Again, l love using Hickory Hill Milk’s cream top whole milk – or the recipe works well with Hickory Hill’s Buttermilk as well.)
4 cups Titan Farms peaches, sliced. Peel them or not as you choose
Pour melted butter into the bottom of a deep dish 9 inch pie pan. Mix together flour and sugar; stir in milk just until combined. Pour over the melted butter in the pan. But, do not stir.
Spoon the mixed berries over the flour/milk layer; but again, do not stir them into the batter. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.
Serve warm or cold as is or with whipped cream , ice cream or warm sweetened cream.
Peach Cider, Peach Vinaigrette and Peach Jam
One of the best things about shopping at local farm stands like Sara’s Fresh Market are all the value added product you can buy in addition to the wonderful seasonal fruits and veggies.
Peach Salsa and Fried Green Tomatoes
Sara’s Peach Salsa is a just right zesty blend of farm tomatoes, peaches, jalapeños, onions and more. Serve it with tortilla chips or quesadillas; or baked atop chicken or fish, just as it is out of the jar. For this Summer Fried Green Tomato recipe, I wanted something chunkier. Instead of starting from scratch, I simply chopped up 2-3 firmer Titan Farm’s peaches and 1 green tomato and added the mix to the jar of salsa.
You’ll find my master recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes here in Summer of 2018 article I just updated for the season.
Serve these tomatoes as a side or an appetizer topped with this chunky peach salsa.
For a heartier salad course make my Peach and Bacon Jam with Saras Peach Cider. You will find that recipe in the Green Tomato article, too.
In fact, there are several additional recipes you are going to love in the fried green tomato article to which you could add this tasty vinaigrette as a dip or a dressing. Or, simply chop local tomatoes and peaches, season with salt and pepper and toss in a bit of Sara’s Peach Vinaigrette. Serve over a mix of local greens and enjoy!
To mix up the recipe a bit and to use the delicious Peachy Peach Vinaigrette as a marinade, try taking this season’s peach harvest out to the grill.
Cut firmer ripe peaches in half, remove the pits and place on a hot grill or grill pan. Grill just until the cut side of the peach begins to caramelize, remove from the grill and add to the salad or serve over a fillet of grilled fish which as been marinated in Sara’s Peach Vinaigrette. Its a great way to enjoy this peachy condiment and the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
In the recipe for Peach and Bacon jam , you’ll find I called for Peach Cider as one of the ingredients. I also used Peach Cider in my Peach Bourbon Fizz cocktail recipe last week and I’m calling for it once more in this next recipe for Peachy Sangria.
Sara’s Fresh Market peach cider is made from the juice of Titan Farm’s peaches with a bit of sugar and a bit of citric acid. Its the perfect base for any cocktail or punch and is makes a fine spritzer all on its own poured over ice and topped with gingerale, a plain sparkling soda or Prosecco.
Peachy Summer Sangria
In my final recipe for today, I’ve blended it with a mix of fruit and a jammy red wine for homemade Peach sangria. You can use white wine in place of the red, if you would like. If you’d rather forgo the alcohol, altogether, add your favorite elderberry syrup to the cider. No matter the liquid, allow the fruit to marinate in the mix for a day or so. Serve over ice and enjoy!
Peel and slice 2-4 Titan Farms ripe peaches to make a couple of cups of sliced fruit. Add to that fresh local cherries ( be sure to take out the pits!) and some chopped cantaloupe or watermelon, perhaps. Did I mention that the melons at Sara’s Fresh Market as every bit as sweet and delicious as the peaches!
Toss the fruit in two cups of Sara’s Peach Cider and a bottle of your favorite red or white wine. Cover and refrigerate overnight. During this time the fruit marinates and releases its juice into the liquid to create a fuller flavor. Enjoy your Peach Sangria in a tall glass or a large stemmed wine glass. What a great way to say cheers to this marvelous taste of summer.
On television, in my cooking classes and on these digitally printed pages, I talk a lot about eating and drinking local. In and around the western half of North Carolina, local means shopping from farmers in South Carolina too.
I was delighted to be invited to tour the peach production operation at Titan Farms in Ridge Springs, SC last summer season. And, I am equally excited to be sharing a taste of all they grow this season.
Thanks so much to Titan Farm owners and farmers, Chalmers and Lori Anne Carr for their time and assistance in sponsoring my two peachy posts this month and last.
With over 6,200 acres of peaches in production, and over 60 different varieties of peaches at hand, Titan Farms is the largest peach grower on the east coast. Titan grows, processes and packs any where from 1.5 to 2 million peaches each season! The operation and production plant is amazing. They use state of the art technology to determine size, ripeness and shipability of each and every peach. The attention to detail is uncanny.
Where You Can Shop for these Local Peaches
Check out the Titan website here to see which peaches are in season, from now till things wind down in mid September. Between now and then you can shop locally with Titan Farms in a number of ways.
As I mentioned earlier in this article, Titan Farms Peaches are available in several grocery stores in Charlotte, and across North Carolina.
Sara’s Fresh Market in Trenton, SC is open 7:30 am – 7 pm, 7 days a week. While you are there, shopping for produce and product, be sure to treat yourself to the homemade soft serve ice cream. The peach and the strawberry flavors are made with Titan Farm’s Fruit!
It is also worth noting again, that Titan ships peaches. Your order arrives in a wonderful gift box. Its the perfect taste of summer for all your friends and family who are not lucky enough to live within driving distance of the farm. Allow one week from the time you order for the peaches to ship. So if you a targeting peaches for a special occasion, be sure to plan ahead. Titan only ships Mondays through Wednesdays and the last day to order this season is August 17, 2019.