Peaches - Perfect, but a bit too ripe, maybe, for baking ... Ideas?
Posted: 05 July 2012 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3168
Joined  2010-04-25

Hi, all!

One of my bosses brought me a beautiful bag of perfectly ripe peaches—perfect for eating.  I’m afraid they might be a bit too ripe for baking—might not hold up.  They are very fragrant, soft and juicy but not squooshy (yet).  They are literally perfect for eating at this moment—I would love to use some of them to make a treat to bring back to work on Monday, but Saturday & Sunday allow for 3 & 4 more days of ripening.

I was wondering if I could (on Saturday or Sunday) mascerate the peaches (as if I were going to make the peach pie)—maybe poach them slightly in the juices—reduce the juices, cool them, thicken them with corn starch (and whatever other pie ingredients would be used) and then fold in the peaches. 

I could then either put it all in a blind baked crust or maybe put it on a puff pastry a la the peach tart tatin.

Should I poach them at all or just fold the raw peaches in the hot syrup?  Do any of you experienced folks have any ideas for a vehicle for uncooked or barely cooked peaches?  I’d like to go pastry, rather than cake, since I am new to it and, officially, on a pastry jag!

Thank you!

—ak

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 July 2012 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4791
Joined  2008-04-16

The nice thing about cooking the fruit and crust separately is that you can give each component just the right amount of cooking.  Mother nature doesn’t always provide fruit just the way we need it for pies!

I would be tempted to just fold the macerated raw peaches into the hot syrup (syrup would contain all the non-peach components, sugar, cornstarch, etc.), and then pour them into a blind baked, moisture-proofed crust.  You can decorate with pastry cut-outs and/or stabilized caramel or vanilla whipped cream.  But the whipped cream probably shouldn’t be left out on the counter for hours.

Taste a peach after folding them with the hot syrup- you can always gently cook stovetop if you need to.  When I cook fruit stovetop I use a heavy-bottomed pan large enough to hold it all in one layer to promote even cooking.

Or, there’s always the peaches and cream tart, it’s a huge crowd pleaser.  The key to making it is to try to cut the peaches all the same size (if any are slightly larger put them near the outside edge, and if any are smaller put them in the center).  The second, even more important point, is to test the peaches and pour in the custard when they are nearly, but not completely, done.  If you pour in the custard too soon it sets before the peaches give off juice and then the juices don’t get bound up with the custard, and you have a huge liquid mess (voice of experience using frozen peaches).  If your peaches are quite soft, you could cut them slightly larger than the recipe calls for and test them a little early.

 Signature 

Brød & Taylor Test Kitchen:  How to Make Sourdough More (or Less) Sour

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 July 2012 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3168
Joined  2010-04-25

Thank you, Julie! 

What you suggest is exactly what I was envisioning!  I have a nice, heavy 12” ScanPan that would be perfect for single-layer stovetop cooking—so thanks for mentioning that part!

However, now that I see your peaches ‘n’ cream tart again (found your post), it is also extremely tempting!  I don’t have a tart pan, so I’d have to use a springform.  I do have a 1/4 sheet pan (I use it for making caramels) so maybe that would be usable for this.

If you had these peaches, which would you make????????? 

—ak

p.s.  I also updated my PPB Updates post (http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/index_ee.php/forums/viewthread/4497/) with your Peaches ‘n’ Cream notes from your post and linked to your post.  Thanks for those!!!!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 July 2012 12:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1179
Joined  2009-11-24

Sounds like you figured it out…I am just jealous that you have peaches… It is my favorite fruit but so hard to get a good one.  I would have said make peach curd….....how non creative I am.

 Signature 

So many recipes - so little time.

Profile
 
 
   
  Back to top
 
‹‹ Rolling Pie Dough      cherry pie question ››