Georgia Peaches: A Bushel of Recipes
Peaches have been in season in Georgia a few weeks, but I think that mid-June is when things really become serious. I grew up in Macon County, adjacent to Peach County in South Georgia and I absolutely love peaches. They are my favorite summer fruit. People get pretty riled up in regards to the flavor of South Carolina versus Georgia peaches. Well, being from Georgia, you know where I stand. I love Georgia Grown! However, to paraphrase, let’s just say, “A peach is a peach, is a peach, is a peach.” And, in summer when peaches are fresh, fragrant, and ripe, you need to enjoy them as much as you can.
I’ve been buying peaches from Pearson Farms in Fort Valley, Georgia for nearly 20 years and am going to place an order next week! I’ve shared an incredible summer supper recipe for Basil Peach Chicken Breasts on their website. If you give it a try, please let me know what you think. And, to add to your bushel basket of peach recipes, make sure to check out my Peach Upside Down Cake for Southern Living. Also, here’s a link to a piece for Eating Well magazine about Pearson Farms a few years ago with all sorts of peach recipes for your bushel basket!
Garden & Gun featured my Blueberry Cobbler recipe from Lighten Up, Y’all in their column, Anatomy of a Classic — and guess what? You can do it with peaches, too! The photo of my Peach Spa-aah Cobbler above was taken by Carolyn O’Neil, author of Slim Down South at La Cocina que Canta at the beautiful Rancho la Puerta. She also reminds us, “We’re supposed to drink 10 glasses of water. And, a lot of people forget that summer fruits and food can be really great sources of hydration, too.”
Taste of the South also recently featured an interview along with a whole slew of other folks. I am so thankful and LOVE the fact that folks are LOVING my book.
You CAN have comfort food that’s good AND good for you!
I’m continuing to travel far and wide. I’ve got some fun events coming up in Chicago and Nashville. I’m also speaking in Boston; teaching in several schools in New England including Northampton, Massachusetts; York, Maine; and Weathersfield, Vermont. Check out my events page for more information and links for tickets.
If you are cooking my book (and especially if you are enjoying it!) please post an Amazon.com review. That sort of thing is very important and I’d greatly appreciate your help.
I hope you enjoy this very last recipe in your bushel basket for Peach Ice Cream. Nope, it’s not lightened up. You know, when it’s not broken, there’s no need to fix it!
Bon Appétit Y’all!
Peach Ice Cream
Makes 7 cups
4 large ripe peaches (about 2 pounds), pitted and quartered
1/4 cup mild honey
2 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
½ cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Make an ice bath by filling a large bowl halfway with ice cubes and water. Place the peaches and honey in the jar of a blender. Puree until smooth. Set aside.
In a saucepan, bring the milk almost to a boil over medium heat. Add the scraped vanilla bean. In a second saucepan, blend together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt with a wooden spoon until thick and light (be careful not to make the mixture foamy). Mix in half the hot milk, then transfer the mixture to the other saucepan with the remaining milk and blend.
Decrease the heat to low and simmer gently, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring the custard until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and the mixture reaches 180°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat. Set a sieve over a large, clean bowl and pass the custard through the sieve. Discard any eggy solids. Add peach puree and stir to combine.
Cool custard completely over an ice bath or refrigerate until cool. Churn the ice cream according to the machine instructions.
Order Lighten Up, Y’all and I’ll send you a signed bookplate!
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all photography by Virginia Willis (except for cobbler by Carolyn O’Neil and Basil Peach Chicken by Angie Mosier)
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