Pickled peaches

peaches and lemons

Farm house cooking, 200pp.
by The Australian Women’s Weekly
ACP Books, Sydney, 2013
Cooking on pages 132–33

I’ve cooked from quite a few books put out by The Australian Women’s Weekly, and I couldn’t resist this one when I saw it in the public library. That’s because the recipe on pages 132–33 called for peaches. There’s a peach tree growing between our house and next door neighbour’s. They all ripen at once and we never manage to use up all the bounty.

This gem of a dish helped me to use up some, along with Meyer lemons from our own backyard. Besides page 32 didn’t have any recipes.

pickled peaches

Pickled peaches

Ingredients
1.5kg (3 pounds) firm ripe yellow freestone peaches
3/4 cup (165g) caster (superfine) sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) lemon juice
1/2 cup (125ml) water
3/4 cup (180ml) white vinegar
35g (1 ounce) pickling spice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes

Method
Using a small sharp knife, cut a shallow cross in base of each peach. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil; cook peaches for 15 seconds or until skin just starts to split. Drain; transfer peaches to a large bowl of iced water.

peaches and sugar peaches with spices cooked peaches

Peel and halve peaches; discard skin and seeds. Place peaches in a large bowl with sugar and juice; toss gently to combine. Cover; refrigerate 4 hours.

Place peach mixture in a large saucepan with the water, vinegar, spice and salt, over medium heat. Bring to a simmer; simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes or until peaches are just tender.

Using a slotted spoon, remove peaches from vinegar mixture. Pack into sterilized jars. Return syrup to the boil then pour over peaches. Seal jars while hot. Stand for at least 12 to 24 hours before using.

Store unopened peaches in a cool dry place up to 6 months. Refrigerate once opened.

How it played out
Except for having to peel all but three of the peaches because the skins didn’t slip off as easily as the recipe implied, I followed the whole process.

I was surprised by how hard it was to find pickling spice. Finally got it at the fourth supermarket I visited. I know, I know, I could/should have made it at home, but I was out of allspice berries, too, and they were just as hard to find. Perhaps the whole town is on a pickling blitz.

Farm House Cooking cookbook

Verdict
These peaches are fabulous—fresh or pickled. I opened a jar after three days and ate them straight from the jar. Tomorrow I’ll try them over sorbet.

Seriously, if you have access to fresh-from-the-garden peaches—or even store-bought ones—give this a try. It’s a great way to keep peaches on hand for as long as you are able to show a bit of restraint. I hope these last until the crop comes in next year, but that’s most unlikely. 🙂

And yes, I shared some of the bounty with the neighbours.

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About leggypeggy

Intrepid overland traveller, keen photographer, avid cook—known to jump out of airplanes and do other silly things. Do not act my age.
This entry was posted in Dessert, Fruit, Preserves, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Pickled peaches

  1. Amy Middleby says:

    My peach peeling continues!

  2. Landidylle says:

    That could be something for me. Thanks. Not that we could grow peaches here in our climate that easy, but I’ll give it a try when I find some nice organic peaches at the supermarket.

  3. This sounds so different. I love fresh peaches ! 🙂

    • leggypeggy says:

      I gave some of the fresh peaches to a friend, and she said she hadn’t had such tasty peaches since she was a child. So of course, I gave her a jar of the pickled ones too.

  4. Sheryl says:

    I’ve often put peaches in hot water to get the skins to slip off–though I think that it generally takes longer than 15 seconds. I’ve never followed with the cold water bath.

    • leggypeggy says:

      Nice to know it’s worked for you. The hot water worked fine with the riper peaches, but not so much the firmer ones. I bet a 30–60 seconds would have been better.

  5. Antonia says:

    This looks so interesting! What a great way to save peaches!

  6. Vicki says:

    Sounds interesting.
    (BTW I’ve nearly run out of whole allspice too. Hope I can find some as I use freshly ground allspice over berries with a dollop of greek yoghurt on top. Ground Allspice on top of the yoghurt I mean).

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