The familiar taste of a ripe, sweet Georgia peach is the ultimate flavor of summertime. Nothing beats biting into the fuzzy, soft fruit and hearing the sound of the peel break while the juices run down your chin. I grew up in middle Georgia, from which, according to GeorgiaPeachFestival.com, approximately 83 percent of the state's peach production comes. We often visit the popular Lane Southern Orchards, a working farm in Fort Valley, Georgia, where onlookers can watch as peaches are picked fresh and processed on the packing line. My mom and I love going to the Peachtree Café and Bakery there to purchase homemade peach ice cream and fried hand pies. We eat them while sitting in the rocking chairs on the expansive front porch, and all is right with the world.
This year, thanks to an ideal winter growing season, Georgia growers may be experiencing the Peach State's biggest crop in more than a decade. Driving down country roads and coming across farm stands with big signs advertising peaches make my heart skip a beat. The good news is, we don't have to drive far to reap the benefits of the season's harvest. I frequent the Statesboro Main Street Farmers Market held each Saturday in the Sea Island Bank parking area in downtown Statesboro, and the peaches are abundant. Something about buying local makes your food taste even better - and there's no time like the present! Peaches are in season mid-May through August. I've been cooking up a storm with them this summer, and today I'm sharing four new dessert ideas and my tip on the quickest way to peel peaches. These desserts are not only Some Kinda Good, but they make for a gorgeous presentation. They're super simple to create and really allow the peaches to shine. Make them as a special treat after a weeknight dinner, or invite a friend over and savor the flavors together. For complete recipes, be sure to visit my food blog at www.somekindagood.com. I hope you'll make these at home and let me know what you think! Share your photos with me on social media using #SomeKindaGood or send me an email at SKGFoodBlog@gmail.com.
Georgia Peach and Wild Blueberry Galette with Orange Mint. Galette is a French term for a round, rustic, free-form cake. With its flaky, made-from-scratch crust and simple fruit filling, the dessert bakes in just 20 minutes. You'll love the sweet flavor of the filling bursting with natural juices from the fruit. The orange mint gives the dish a bright pop of green color and a citrusy boost.
Fried Peach Hand Pies with Bourbon and Cinnamon. At first taste of Fried Peach Hand Pies with Bourbon and Cinnamon, you won't even need to visit the fair when it comes to town. The flaky, crunchy exterior of this turnover with soft, bright red-orange peaches in the center, dusted with cinnamon sugar, is one fine way to celebrate this summer fruit.
Local Blackberry-Peach Crumble. Crumbles make the perfect summer dessert. Simple to throw together, the end result is a crunchy, buttery topping filled with warm, sweet fruit. Serve with cold vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream. No crust required!
Grilled Peaches with Toasted Granola and Honey. If you've never tasted grilled peaches, start living. Something about grilling fruit makes it that much more desirable, and Georgia peaches really shine in this lightened-up dessert. This dish satisfies your sweet tooth without packing on the pounds.
How to peel peaches
Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Fill a separate large mixing bowl with ice cubes and water and set aside.
Score the bottom of each peach with an X pattern.
One at a time, gently add peaches to the boiling water with a slotted spoon.
Let them boil for about 20 seconds, ensuring they are fully immersed. Using a spoon, help rotate the peaches as they boil.
Remove peaches from boiling water and place them directly into the ice bath for about 20 seconds.
Starting from the scored X, peel the skin off the peaches.
Georgia Peach and Wild Blueberry Galette with Orange Mint
Prep time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
1¼ cups flour
1½ teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into small, ½-inch cubes
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
3 large Georgia peaches, pitted and sliced
¼ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 4 teaspoons butter, for dotting
Extra sugar for dusting
Orange mint for garnish
Preheat the oven with the rack in the middle position to 425 degrees.
In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt until well mixed. Add the cubed butter, and pulse until the mixture comes together in little crumbs. Slowly add the ice water, a tablespoon or two at a time, pulsing after each addition, until the dough just begins to clump.
Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and form into a disc. Sprinkle with a little flour on all sides, wrap with plastic and place into the refrigerator to chill for an hour.
In a large mixing bowl, toss peaches and blueberries with flour, sugar and vanilla. Sprinkle vanilla extract over the fruit mixture. In a small bowl, whisk the egg until smooth and set aside.
Once dough has chilled, roll it out onto a lightly floured surface to about a 12-inch circle. Gently lift up the rolled-out dough and place it on a rimmed baking sheet.
Arrange the fruit mixture in the center of the dough and dot with as much butter as you see fit. Fold the outer edges of the dough over the filling, by about 2 inches all the way around, in an accordion fashion. This does not have to be perfect. Rustic is the keyword here.
Use a pastry brush to coat the dough with egg wash and sprinkle the entire top and edges with sugar. Bake the galette for about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a baking sheet for 15 minutes before slicing.
Georgia native Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is the personality behind the blog SomeKindaGood.com. A self-described food enthusiast whose cooking adventures have led her twice to appear on national TV and to star locally as host of "Statesboro Cooks," she is currently taking her passion to the next level as a student at Savannah Technical College's Culinary Institute of Savannah. Search Facebook for Some Kinda Good or tweet her @SKGFoodBlog.