Peaches In The Kitchen..part 2

Who doesn't like to eat dessert for breakfast?

Peach cobbler, banana pudding, angel food cake with strawberries/whipped cream...these are a few favs that if I have them in my house, I will probably eat them for breakfast.
If you know me, though, I will eat dessert any chance I get.

Last week I shared about our peach picking experience at a local u-pick organic farm...it was a lot of fun! It's pretty rewarding to go pick fruit, process it, and use it in a recipe to eat. I bet if I was the farmer who grew the peaches, I would get even more satisfaction from whatever I made.

You probably saw the picture of our haul from the peach farm...it was over 30 lbs of juicy peaches that had to be peeled and used that day. Otherwise, I would have had a ton of peach baby food sitting in my kitchen.

We rushed home, washed them and began the peeling process. Considering most of our peaches were the size of tennis balls or a little smaller, this took quite a LONG time. We did the boiling method to make the peels fall off more easily, but boiling soft peaches wasn't too practical, so using a knife was they way to go.

For the past 6 months or so, Ive been attempting to feed my family more of a "real food" diet which consists of more whole foods..you know, things that aren't from a box or can...things with less sugar, no artificial junk like dyes, etc. I like to say our family is about 80% real food...I won't turn down a cupcake just because it has pink frosting, or tell my daughter she can't have a treat offered to her by a friend. I like to order pizza for delivery, we eat Chick-fil-a once in a while.  My view is, if there is a way to cut back  on the fillers and artificial additives, why not.

That was the approach I wanted to take with my jam:

 Natural peach jam (no added sugar, no added pectin)

I got the recipe from A Organic Wife, who originally did this with her peaches.

The recipe calls for 4 lbs of peaches...I used about 5 1/2-6 cups of peaches.
1 cup of honey
1 lemon

After following her recipe, I had created just over a dozen jars of yummy jam...

Since I had so many peaches, I decided to also make peach jam the common way using a ton of sugar and pectin to see what the taste difference would be. I discovered it was a lot more work and the difference between the two was very minimal.
(The instructions on how to do this are printed with any box of Kerr or Ball jars you buy, so just follow the directions included.)

I used my natural peach jam to make these amazing cookies that are not as healthy, but sure are delicious.

Peach Window Shortbread Cookies

2 cups flour
1 cup cold, unsalted butter cut into cubes
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Set your oven to 325 degrees.
Put all ingredients into your mixer bowl, and mix on low for about 30 sec.
Raise the speed a little, until a ball of dough forms.
Roll out until the dough is about 1/8th inch thick.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Cut your bottoms and tops of your cookies out using any cookie cutters you wish. I had a small heart cutter, so that is what I used.
Set them on a pan and refrigerate for another 15 minutes.
Take your cold dough cookies out, and bake for about 13-15 minutes until a light brown.
Cool.

Dust the toppers with a little powdered sugar..I put a tbs. in a strainer and shook it over them.
Spread a tiny amount of jam on the bottoms.

 Sandwich a top to a jam-covered bottom and that's it!

We had enough peaches to bake a few more goodies which included the not-so-real food peach cobbler...the recipe we used came from Southern Living!

We made a few adjustments which are in red.

Easy Peach Cobbler

Ingredients:
     
      1/2 cup unsalted butter (we used 1/4 cup)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar, divided (we used 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cups fresh peach slices
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
  • Preparation:
    1. Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
    2. Combine flour, 1 cup sugar (used 1/2 cup), baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir).

     3. Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

    1. Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool.

    This cobbler turned out amazing and was even better when paired with vanilla ice cream.

    For a variation, I reserved some of the peach mixture at step 3, and filled some ramekins with pie crust. Filling the ramekins with some of the mixture, and then another piece of dough...like a mini pie.