Recipe For Health
by Jill Yarbrough, Dining Services Test Kitchen Manager
Featured Food: Peaches Yield: Serves 8-12Learn more about Peaches

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. fresh peaches OR 1 29-oz. can sliced peaches
  • 1 ¾ c. flour
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3 ¼ t. baking powder
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1 ¾ c. 2% milk
  • ¾ c. butter or margarine, melted
  • ½ c. fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream

Preparation

Prepare 9” x 9” baking dish and aluminum foil cover by coating both with non-stick cooking spray.

Blanch fresh peaches, remove skins and slice OR drain canned peaches. 

Mix all the dry ingredients together. 

Combine milk and melted butter, and pour into flour mixture. Mix together to form a smooth consistency then pour into prepared dish. Top with peaches and sprinkle with blueberries. Cover dish with aluminum foil, sprayed side down. 

Bake at 400°F for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes until golden brown and firm in the middle. 

Allow to cool until slightly warm. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Learn More About Peaches

Few foods are distinguished enough to have an adjective of their own. With the exception of the fuzz and the pit, most everything about the peach is, well, just peachy! 

If you’re one to cringe at the thought of peach fuzz touching your lips, the nectarine – smooth-skinned and shiny – is a good peach to eat out of hand. As for the pit, you can choose between clingstone peaches, where the fruit is attached to the pit, or freestone varieties, where the pit easily releases from the peach flesh.

The deep orange-red patches on the peach skin are where it has been sun-kissed; this pretty coloration can deceive you into thinking the peach is ripe. A tree-ripened peach has a creamy or gold cast to the skin in addition to the reddish patches. Some varieties will have a slightly green undertone. Peaches do not continue to ripen once harvested from the tree; however, they will improve in aroma and softness. 

Refrigeration can be a problem for peaches. Temperatures below 40°F destroy the enzyme that breaks down pectin in the peach’s cell walls during the ripening process. Chilling before the peach is soft allows the pectin to remain intact, resulting in fruit with a mealy texture. If the peaches you bring home from the market are too firm to eat right away, store at room temperature until they soften. Refrigerate your peaches only after they have reached their flavorful prime.

Tender peach skin will turn tough when cooked. To remove it, use a paring knife to score a small “X” at the base of each peach. Blanch the peaches by gently placing them in boiling water until the skin loosens, about 30 to 60 seconds. Plunge the peaches in ice water for about a minute then beginning at the “X” peel each peach. Cut around the peach from pole to pole, gently pry apart and pop out the pit. Now you have the perfect peach.

Peggy Crum, MA, RD

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