It’s a great peach year, and at our farmers markets, pretty wooden baskets of the blushing beauties are lined up proudly at several stalls. For both of these recipes – a sweet-tart salsa and a sweetly spiced peach cobbler – you can use peaches that are less than perfect, simply cutting out any bad spots.
This is a basic tomato and fruit salsa formula that you can adjust to your taste, substituting other fruit or using all red tomatoes or a different fresh herb if you prefer. Scoop it up with tortilla chips or spoon the salsa over grilled fish or chicken.
Makes: About 3 cups
1 cup diced ripe peaches
1 cup diced seeded red tomatoes
1 cup diced seeded yellow tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped sweet white onion
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Liquid hot pepper sauce, to taste
In a large bowl, combine the peaches, tomatoes, onion and cilantro. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and hot pepper sauce to your taste. Stir to combine.
Let salsa stand for at least 15 minutes to blend flavors or refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
A touch of vanilla lends an elusive fragrance to this lightly spiced peach cobbler. To peel peaches, pour boiling water over them, let stand for 1 minute, and slip off the skins.
3½ cups peeled and sliced peaches
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for sprinkling on top
4 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut in about 10 pieces
¼ cup milk, any type
Vanilla ice cream for serving
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Generously butter a 9-inch glass pie dish or other shallow 1-quart baking dish. Place peaches in the dish, add the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon and vanilla, and toss to combine.
For the dough, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a food processor. Pulse to sift. Distribute butter over the top and pulse until most of the butter is about the size of small peas. Dribble the milk through the feed tube, pulsing the machine and stopping when flour is moistened and the dough begins to come together. (To make dough by hand, whisk dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl, work butter in with your fingertips, and stir in the milk with a large fork to make a soft dough.)
Scrape out onto a lightly floured board, knead a couple of times, and roll or pat into a shape approximately a half-inch smaller than the diameter of the baking dish. Crimp the edges with your fingertips, place over the fruit, and cut several deep slashes to let steam escape. Sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until crust is golden and peach juices are beginning to bubble. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with scoops of vanilla ice cream.
Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently “Lobster!” (Storey, 2012). She lives on the Blue Hill peninsula, and can be contacted via Facebook at: