Traditional recipes

Peaches with Lemon Verbena Cream

Peaches with Lemon Verbena Cream

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  • 1/4 cup (packed) fresh lemon verbena leaves plus more, torn, for serving
  • 4 large ripe peaches, halved, pitted
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons sugar, divided

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat; add 1/4 cup lemon verbena. Cover. Let steep 15 minutes. Strain cream into a medium bowl. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

  • Preheat oven to 450°. Place peaches in a baking dish. Brush with butter and sprinkle with salt and 4 Tbsp. sugar. Roast until peaches start to caramelize, 20–25 minutes. Let cool in dish.

  • Beat infused cream and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar to soft peaks. Serve peaches with cream and torn lemon verbena.

Nutritional Content

4 servings, 1 serving contains: Calories (kcal) 410 Fat (g) 34 Saturated Fat (g) 21 Cholesterol (mg) 110 Carbohydrates (g) 30 Dietary Fiber (g) 2 Total Sugars (g) 27 Protein (g) 2 Sodium (mg) 140Reviews Section

Recipe Summary

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 strips lemon zest (each about 2 inches by 1/2 inch)
  • 3 sprigs fresh lemon verbena
  • 2 1/2 pounds ripe yellow peaches, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons vodka or grappa

Put sugar and 1 1/2 cups water into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Add zest. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat add lemon verbena. Cover let stand 20 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl discard solids. Let syrup cool completely.

Meanwhile, coarsely chop peaches, and place in a large bowl. Crush with your hands or a potato masher, then pass through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl discard solids (you should have at least 1 1/2 cups puree). Add cooled syrup and vodka or grappa to peach puree stir to combine. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours (up to 4 hours).

Freeze peach mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a chilled airtight container freeze at least 2 hours (up to 2 weeks). Let sorbet stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.

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Lemon Lover's Tea

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Charred Green Beans with Lemon Verbena Pesto

Charred Green Beans with Lemon Verbena Pesto

Elderberry Blossom Iced Tea (W/Optional Additions)

Elderberry Blossom Iced Tea (W/Optional Additions)

Peach Sangria (Food Network Kitchens)

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Baked peaches with lemon verbena cream

Soft, warm peaches are topped with a dollop of fragrant cream Credit: LUCY BURTON

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  • 4-6 peaches
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, or 1 vanilla pod
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • 25g butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 250ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp dried or fresh Lemon Verbena tea leave


Place the cream in a pan, and slowly bring to the boil. When it is beginning to bubble, remove from the heat and add the Lemon Verbena. Set aside to infuse and cool.

Preheat your oven to 180C. Cut each peach in half and remove the stones, then arrange in an ovenproof dish. Pack them as tightly as you can, as this will help them retain their shape when baking.

Rub each peach with vanilla, sprinkle with salt, drizzle with honey and top each with a small knob of butter. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the peaches are soft and starting to colour on the top.

When the cream is cool, strain to remove the tea leaves, and whip until it is thick and airy. Serve immediately with the warm baked peaches and a final drizzle of honey.

Peaches and blueberries with lemon verbena cream

This article was published more than 10 years ago. Some information in it may no longer be current.

Lemon verbena is an herb commonly used to make tisane, or digestive tea. Its lemony flavour is wonderful in this salad. Lemon balm would also work very well. Failing that, grate some lemon rind into the cream.


3 peaches or nectarines, or 8 apricots

2 tablespoons peach schnapps

¼ cup peach or orange juice

2 tablespoons chopped lemon verbena or 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Lemon verbena or lemon balm sprigs


Peel peaches and remove pit. Slice into a bowl. Stir in blueberries and toss with peach schnapps, peach juice and 2 tablespoons sugar.

Whip cream, lemon verbena and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar until mixture holds stiff peaks. Layer fruit in a glass bowl or wine glass and top with cream. Garnish with a sprig of lemon verbena.

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Heat 1 cups of the cream in a small saucepan over low heat with the verbena, sugar and salt until it simmers. Remove from the heat and cover. Let steep 10 minutes. While the cream steeps, sprinkle the gelatin over the water, in a small cup or bowl, to soften. Remove the verbena from the cream, then whisk in the gelatin mixture until dissolved. Whisk in the sour cream and chill the cream mixture until it has the consistency of egg whites.

Whip the remaining cup heavy cream until it just holds soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled cream mixture, then divide between oiled ½ cup ramekins. Chill until the panna cotta is set, about 3 hours. Remove the panna cottas from their molds if desired.

For the fruit: Bring the water, sugar, verbena and a pinch of salt to a boil. Boil 5 minutes, then discard the verbena. Pour the hot syrup over the fruit. Serve the panna cottas with the fruitverbena syrup drizzled over it. Garnish with the wood sorrel.

Peaches with Lemon Verbena Cream - Recipes

Oven temperature: 170° C (340° F)
Prep. time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: Under 30 minutes
Waiting time: A few hours to freeze the sorbet

An original recipe from Jean-Luc Rabanel in Tonneins

  1. Bring the water, sugar and glucose to a boil until completely dissolved
  2. add 200 g (7 oz.) fresh verbena and infuse.

Making the tuiles

  1. Whisk together the butter, sugar and egg whites add the chopped rosemary at the end.
  2. Form into 5 cm (2") discs on a non-stick baking sheet
  3. Bake in a 170°C (340° F) oven for 5 minutes.

Making the sorbet

  1. Combine all the ingredients. Bring to 80° C (176° F) for 5 minutes
  2. strain and liquefy in a blender put into an ice cream or sorbet maker and process until frozen.
  3. Poach the peaches at 60° C (140° F) for 15 minutes peel and pit them and reform them.
  4. Fasten the two peach halves together with a branch of verbena.
  5. Reduce the poaching syrup and pour over top.
  6. Place a scoop of sorbet on a rosemary tuile garnish as desired.

With poached pears, no question! Blanc de blancs champagne A 1990 Ruinard or Billecard-Salmon

White Peaches with Lemon Verbena

Fresh and light, this simple dessert made with fresh fruit at the peak of ripeness is a perfect way to end a hot summer day. Substitute yellow peaches or nectarines, if you prefer, but white peaches will show off the subtle color of the rosé to best effect.

White Peaches with Lemon Verbena

1 bottle (750 ml) Provençal dry rosé

10 lemon verbena leaves, plus leaves and flowers for garnish

8 white peaches, peeled, halved and pitted

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the rosé, lemon verbena leaves, lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add the peaches and submerge in the liquid. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the peaches are tender when pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the peaches cool in the syrup. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, place 2 peach halves in each of 8 small plates, bowls, or glasses. Drizzle with a little syrup, garnish with lemon verbena leaves and serve immediately. Serves 8.

Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Friends: Fresh Ways to Entertain with Style, by Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm

Erica De Mane

Do yourself a favor and bring a big bunch of fresh lemon verbena into your kitchen. This is an herb that smells and tastes like the world’s most fragrant lemon, very pure and direct, with no underlying hints of anything deeper, unlike, say, basil with its fennel, anise, and mint tones. Lemon verbena is strong. It makes a gorgeous sorbet. I like to just stick my whole face in a big bunch and sniff it in. It’s wonderful with just about any peach or apricot dessert, but I also love it as a flavoring with savory dishes, sprinkled over grilled chicken or stuffed inside a whole fish for roasting. I make a little lemon olive oil by mixing chopped lemon verbena, lemon juice, zest, and olive oil, and letting it all sit for about a half hour to develop flavor. Try it drizzled over seared tuna or swordfish. I’ve made little lamb meatballs, working mint and lemon verbena into them, and then cooked them quickly on a hot grill. I’ve also thrown whole branches of it into my hot bath (not the meatballs, just the herb). And just for your information, L’Occitane has an entire line of lemon verbena-scented soaps and lotions and fragrances that really capture the aroma perfectly. If you’re ever down in the dumps, try sipping a gin and tonic flavored with lemon verbena leaves while squirting L’Occitane’s lemon verbena cologne all over your neck. You will drive almost all your troubles away.

Roasted Peppers with Lemon Verbena and Olive Oil

(Serves 4 or 5 as an antipasto dish)

6 bell peppers, a mix of red and yellow
1 large summer garlic clove, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
A pinch of sugar
Black pepper
The juice and zest from 1 lemon
6 large sprigs of lemon verbena, the leaves chopped
A handful of capers

Roast the peppers on an outdoor grill or under the broiler, turning them often until they’re charred all over. Peel and seed them, and cut them into strips. Place the peppers in a large serving bowl.

Mix all the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl, and pour the resulting mixture over the pepper. Mix everything well. Let the peppers sit, unrefrigerated, for about a half hour before serving, to develop good flavor. Serve at room temperature.

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Verbena, Green Olives, and Summer Garlic

(Serves 3 as a main course)

1 free-range chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 large lemons
3 large summer garlic cloves
Black pepper
A handful of lemon verbena, the leaves lightly chopped, plus a few whole sprigs for garnish
A handful of green olives, unpitted

Place the chicken pieces in a shallow bowl, and drizzle on a tablespoon of olive oil and the juice from one of the lemons. Smash two of the garlic cloves, and add them to the bowl. Season with salt and black pepper, and give everything a toss. Let this sit for about a half hour.

Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the juice of the other lemon into a small bowl. Mince the remaining garlic clove, and add it to the bowl. Season with salt and black pepper, and add the lemon verbena. Give it a good stir and let this sit, unrefrigerated.

Grill the chicken over moderate heat (either on an outside grill or on a stove-top grill pan), turning a few times, until it’s just tender, about 20 minutes (I usually remove the breast pieces a bit earlier). Place the chicken on a large platter, and scatter on the olives. Now spoon the verbena oil over everything. Garnish with lemon verbena sprigs. Serve hot.

Peaches with Lemon Verbena and White Wine

(Serves 4 or 5 as a dessert)

1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, sliced open lengthwise
About 8 lemon verbena sprigs, the leaves chopped, plus a few whole sprigs for garnish
6 ripe summer peaches, unpeeled and cut into thick slices

Pour the wine into a small saucepan. Add the sugar and vanilla bean, and boil until reduced by about half. Add the lemon verbena. Chill.

Place the peach slices in a large bowl, and strain the syrup over them. Add the whole lemon verbena sprigs, and give everything a gentle toss. I love these peaches served over vanilla ice cream, but they’re wonderful on their own too.

Related Articles

“Some naturally occurring flavors in peaches are the same as those of dairy products. They are very subtle, but they are what make peaches such a natural complement to ice cream,” he said. “In Europe, peaches and blue cheese are a popular late-summer dessert.”

Similarly, the sweet acidity partners well with oily foods, like almonds, Italian prosciutto and Spanish jamon Ibérico, Miller said. “Peaches have a better sugar/acid balance for ham than some things it is paired with, like honeydew or cantaloupe melons.”

Anne Keller, co-owner of The Hot Tomato restaurant in Fruita, proves Miller’s thesis sometimes 100 times a night with The Palisade Peach, a late-summer-only pizza created five years ago after an orchardwoman dropped off four flats of peaches. Keller ate the fruit for breakfast, lunch and dinner until she could eat no more.

With the clock ticking toward having to toss the gifted peaches, she started thinking about the savory flavors that would complement their sweet acid flavor on a pizza. She started with mozzarella and added Canadian bacon, rosemary and a little gorgonzola cheese. “I think the reason it works is that it’s so simple,” Keller said. “The nutty tang of gorgonzola balances the sweet, then you have the salt of the bacon and the flavor of rosemary, which I think goes great with everything.”

But really it is the peach that goes great with everything. It can take the heat in fresh salsa, and stands up to fragrant baking spices, like clove and cinnamon, and to the tang of fresh berries and soft cheeses. The peach is a side to grilled meats, or a little acid kick in a salad. And if you feel overwhelmed by all that potential, it might be time to crack open a bottle of wine and sip a glass while contemplating the options.

Miller observed that some varieties have “distinct vinous notes,” leading them to be sometimes poached in Sauterne wines, or consumed fresh with sweeter whites, like Riesling, and, of course, with sparklers.

“Eating peaches and drinking prosecco,” he said, “probably led to the creation of the famous Bellini cocktail.”

Peach and Prosciutto Bruschetta

Photo editor Patrick Traylor developed this simple appetizer after a trip through the Midwest, where he purchased prosciutto from Volpi Foods in St. Louis and tangy quark cheese from Milton Creamery in Milton, Iowa. If you can’t find quark, brie or a soft cheese from Haystack Mountain, Goat Dairy will work well. Traylor also thinks bacon from Tender Belly would be a tasty substitute for prosciutto. He’s also tried this recipe using grilled peaches.

1 loaf of rustic bread, such as ciabatta
2 peaches, sliced
¼ to ½ cup of soft cheese
3 to 4 thin slices of prosciutto

Slice bread and spread each slice with creamy cheese. Top each bruschetta with a slice of fresh peach. Tear the prosciutto into pieces and lay a few strips on each bruschetta. The appetizer can be served cold, or can be toasted in the oven for a few minutes at 400 degrees.

The Palisade Peach

Anne Keller, co-owner of The Hot Tomato in Fruita, developed this sweet-savory pizza when she was gifted with more peaches than she could eat. Five years later, it’s a restaurant favorite. You can buy fresh pizza dough at some grocery stores, including Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, or make your own. Keller suggests a New York-New Jersey style recipe from dough expert Tom Lehman, available at This recipe has no sauce, and it requires a pizza stone for your oven.

Dough for a 12- to 14-inch pizza
8 ounces good-quality, whole-milk, low-moisture mozzarella cheese
5 to 6 ounces sliced Canadian bacon or other good-quality, deli-style ham, quartered
1½ ripe peaches cut into thin slices
4 ounces of gorgonzola cheese (Stella brand works great)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

Place pizza stone on an oven rack at the second shelf from the top. Preheat the oven to 550 degrees (if it goes that high, but no less than 500 degrees). Stretch your pizza crust to 12- to 14-inches across. Spread mozzarella on the dough. Evenly distribute the sliced ham over the pizza, with the slices overlapping slightly. Place peach slices evenly across the pie. Sprinkle with gorgonzola and chopped fresh rosemary. Bake pizza on stone until it is nicely browned, 8 to 13 minutes, depending on how hot your oven gets.

Peaches & Creamy Ricotta, Lemon Verbena, Creamed Honey Drizzle,
Pistachio Cracker
Tables restaurant on Kearney Street in North Park Hill is known for highlighting seasonal fruits and vegetables from Colorado, and recently dished up this delectable appetizer, which was light and fresh and the perfect complement to our sangria. The subtlety of the lemon and ricotta let the peaches — from Ela Family Farms in Hotchkiss — be the star. Recipe courtesy chef Amy Barrett, who owns Tables with her chef husband, Dustin.

Pistachio Cracker:
¼ cup warm water
¼ tablespoon yeast
¾ cup flour
¼ cup toasted pistachios
1½ tablespoons butter
¼ tablespoon salt
Extra toasted pistachios, crushed

Mix first four ingredients in a blender or food processor, then add salt and butter. Mix again until blended. Using a pasta machine, roll the dough down from the No. 1 setting to the No. 3 setting. Prick the flattened dough with fork, then brush with water. Sprinkle with salt and cut into 2-by-2-inch squares. Sprinkle more crushed pistachios on top. Bake on parchment paper at 350 degrees for 5 minutes each side.

Lemon Verbena Vinaigrette
(Makes 1 quart)

1 cup lemon juice
1¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 medium shallot, chopped
The leaves of 1 sprig thyme
½ cup olive oil
2½ cups sunflower oil
1½ tablespoons finely chopped lemon verbena
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, shallot and thyme in a blender or food processor. With the blender running, slowly add the olive oil and sunflower oil to emulsify. Remove from blender, add the lemon verbena and gently blend, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Ricotta (Makes about 1 quart)
1 gallon milk
2 tablespoons salt
½ cup lemon juice

In a large saucepan, scald the milk, then add ½ cup lemon juice. Turn heat to low, and let the mixture separate for 15 minutes. Strain liquid through cheese cloth.

To assemble the appetizer, spread 2 tablespoons of the ricotta on the bottom of a plate. Mix a few watercress leaves, ¾ of a large peach cut into chunks, and 1½ tablespoons of lemon verbena vinaigrette in bowl. Place the dressed greens and peaches on a plate. Drizzle creamed honey (such as the one made locally by Honeyville in Durango) over top, then sprinkle with crushed roasted pistachio bits and fresh black pepper. Serve on plate with pistachio crackers.

Peach Pie Supreme

As a co-worker noted, we’ve yet to make a recipe from the Junior League cookbook Creme de Colorado that isn’t delicious, as well as appropriate for Denver’s altitude. However, the pastry recipe suggested with this pie called for whole milk, which we didn’t have on hand. So we used an old standby recipe handed down from mom, taken from from a 1960s edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook. Note: Don’t underbake this pie or the center will be runny.

1 10-inch deep dish pastry shell (see below)
10-12 medium peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter
sweetened whipped cream

Prepare pastry shell. Mound peaches in unbaked shell. In small bowl, mix sugar, eggs and flour until smooth. Pour over peaches. Dot with butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Let sit before serving. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

Betty Crocker Pie Crust

For a single-crust 10 inch pie
1⅓ cup flour
½ tsp salt
½ cup Crisco shortening
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water (we add a bit more in Denver’s arid climate)

Measure flour and salt into a bowl. Cut in shortening. Sprinkle in water, mixing until flour moistened and dough almost cleans side of the bowl. Gather dough into a ball shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface. Roll dough 2 inches larger than inverted pie plate. Fold into quarters and ease into plate. Flute edges. For baked shell, prick bottom and sides of dough with fork and bake at 475 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream, Crème Fraîche and Balsamic Reduction

Video producer Amy Brothers dreamed up this August treat that combines sweet, warm Colorado peaches caramelized on the grill with cold ice cream and the tang of crème fraîche, tied up with a drizzle of balsamic reduction. Don’t be afraid if the peaches look burned that crispness is the texture you want. You can make this using only ice cream, or with crème fraîche and ricotta.

3 to 4 large peaches
Canola oil for brushing peaches
½ cup balsamic vinegar
⅔ cup crème fraîche
⅓ cup ricotta
Vanilla ice cream

Heat grill to a medium heat, around 375 degrees. Cut peaches in half and brush with canola oil. Once grill is hot, place peaches flesh side down on grill and close the grill. The peaches should caramelize on one side and cook through from the heat of the grill. Combine crème fraîche and ricotta stir until smooth. Remove peaches from the grill when they are soft to the touch.

To make the reduction, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan and simmer until it is thick and sweet to the taste. Remove from heat as soon as your spoon starts to make marks on the bottom of the pan. It thickens as it cools, so be careful not to reduce it too much.

Place peaches in serving bowls, top with ice cream, crème fraîche mixture and drizzle with balsamic reduction.

Fragrant Orange and Lemon Cake

This Tuscan-style cake from Patricia Wells’ “Trattoria” cookbook is dense enough in texture to soak up saucy peaches without disintegrating, and the citrus flavor is a lovely foil to the sweetness of Colorado’s favorite summer fruit. She bakes it in a Bundt pan, but we made it in a tube pan.

Unsalted butter and all-purpose flour for preparing the cake pan

3 cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
¾ cup whole milk
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
5 large eggs
Confectioners sugar for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Evenly coat the interior of a 10-inch bundt pan with butter. Dust lightly with flour, shaking out the excess flour. Set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the orange and lemon zests.

Combine the orange and lemon juices and the milk and set aside to “sour” the milk.
In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer at high speed, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. One at a time, beat in the eggs, mixing well after each addition. The mixture will look curdled, but don’t worry. Alternating in thirds, add the milk and flour mixtures, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in the center of the oven. Bake until the cake is an even, golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes. (Don’t worry if the cracks in the top of the cake don’t look dry — use the toothpick test to check for doneness.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a serving plate. If desired, sift confectioners sugar over the top of the cake. Slice into wedges and serve for breakfast, as a snack, or for dessert.

Summer Peaches and Raspberries

This is another Italian treat suggested by Patricia Wells in “Trattoria.” The tangy raspberries pair well in flavor — and color — with Palisade peaches. She suggests this as a stand-alone dessert, but we used it as a topping for the Fragrant Orange and Lemon Cake.

5 ripe peaches (about 2 pounds)
¼ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups raspberries (about 8 ounces)

Peel the peaches: Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Drop the peaches in one by one and scald until the skins are softened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the peaches and plunge directly into cold water. Once cool enough to handle, peel the peaches using the tip of a small, sharp knife. Discard the skin.

Coarsely chop 3 of the peeled peaches and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and puree. Spoon the puree into a porcelain baking dish and spread evenly over the bottom.

Cut the remaining peeled peaches into 16 even slices. Place in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of sugar and vanilla. Evenly arrange the peach slices, slightly overlapping, on top of the puree, forming a ring of peaches around the edge of the dish. Cover and refrigerate for up to four hours.

At serving time, toss the raspberries with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Carefully spoon the berries on top of the puree, filling in the center of the dish. Serve immediately.

Peach Salsa

This recipe from provides a sweet heat that’s delicious as a dip with tortilla chips, but also would be a great cold sauce for grilled meats or fish. The original recipe calls for tomatoes and peaches diced with the skins on. We blanched our tomatoes and peaches because the skins were tough — the peaches for about 3 minutes and the tomatoes for less than a minute. We plunged both into cold water and then peeled with a sharp knife. Serves 6 to 8.

1 pound tomatoes, diced
1 bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 or 2 jalapeños, seeded and finely diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
1½ pounds peaches, diced
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Chop tomatoes and transfer them to a large bowl. Finely chop seeded bell pepper and jalapeños. Finely chop onion and transfer all your veggies to the bowl with the tomatoes. Add diced peaches, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix gently until ingredients are well combined.

Spiced Peach Jam

Assistant city editor Alison Borden adds a little spice to a traditional peach jam recipe to create a savory, sweet concoction — perfect for English muffins or on a slice of Brie and crackers. Use the plate-in-the-freezer test to ensure the jam will set: Put a small plate in the freezer while the jam is boiling. When you think the jam has gelled, grab the plate and put a spoonful of the hot jam on it. Let it sit for a minute or two, then test the jam with your finger. If the puddle has formed a surface skin and developed some solidity, it is done. If it is runny and saucy, give it a few more minutes. It always takes more time than you think it should for the jam to reduce and properly gel. Patience might as well be on the ingredient list. But, not to worry if you run out of it — the syrupy jam you’ll end up with will still be delicious and can be used on pancakes or waffles. Or mixed into ice cream. Or just eaten out of the jar by the spoonful. But that goes for the jam that sets, too.

4 cups sugar
8 cups finely chopped, peeled ripe peaches (about 6 pounds)
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (this helps reduce foam while cooking it can be omitted, but foam should be skimmed off with a metal spoon before the spices are added)
6 ounces of liquid fruit pectin
1½ teaspoons of cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon of freshly ground allspice
pinch of freshly ground cloves
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Prepare peaches. You can run batches of peeled, halved peaches through a food processor before adding them to the pot, or use an immersion blender once the peaches are in the pot. Combine sugar, peaches, lemon juice and butter in a heavy, 6- to 8-quart pot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Stir in the pectin and bring to a full roiling boil, stirring constantly. Lower heat to medium high and let jam reduce and properly gel.

Mix the cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg in a small bowl.

Remove the pot from the heat. Add the spices to the jam and stir well just before filling the jars.

Ladle the hot jam into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a ¼-inch head space. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids.

Process the filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes (5 minutes if you’re at sea level). Start timing when the water returns to a boil. Remove jars from canner and cool on wire racks.

If you want to give this jam more of a kick, stir in ½ cup to 1 cup of bourbon with the sugar, peaches, butter and lemon juice.

Canning peaches

Features editor Barbara Ellis cans peaches every year, and uses them all winter long over ice cream or in pies (just reduce the amount of sugar called for in any recipe). You can use a peeler to get the skins off, or dip peaches in boiling water to scald, then drop into ice water, and they will come off easily.

Peaches, peeled and sliced
Fruit Fresh
Canning jars, sanitized in dishwasher
Canning lids (sanitized) and bands
Syrup (canning liquid), method below
Large pot to boil filled jars

Mix a bath of Fruit Fresh and water (to prevent browning) in a bowl and dip peach slices. Place peaches in sanitized jars, pressing down gently to pack. Add hot syrup to cover, leaving ½ inch of headroom. (We use a 20 percent (light) syrup solution, which is 9 cups of water to 2¼ cups of sugar for a 7-quart load. Put sugar and water in a pan, bring to a boil and heat until the sugar dissolves.) Wipe rim of jar with clean paper towel to ensure seal, then cover with canning lids and tighten bands. Boil in hot water bath 25 to 30 minutes.


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