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Peachy keen and delicious

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There are so many ways to enjoy a basketful of fresh peaches. Homemade peach ice cream, cobblers, refrigerator pies and peach jam are some of my favorites.

So I had plenty of ideas last week for the peck of July Flame freestone peaches delivered to work by my cousin, straight from a South Carolina farm. What a treat!

Even before I got the peaches home last Monday, I was thinking of ways I could eat them and couldn’t wait to peel one, slice it in an bowl and enjoy the juicy goodness.

I had plans for making my favorite peach cobbler later in the week, but on Tuesday, I wanted something sweet to go with our supper.

In the fall and winter, my husband and I enjoy baked apples. Why not try baked peaches, I thought? I searched around the internet and saw many people do the same. So why haven’t I done this before, I wondered?

The preparation couldn’t be easier. I did the same thing I do with apples: Cut the peach in half, starting at the stem, and remove the seed. I cut the peaches way I cut an avocado — cutting all the way around with a knife, then twisting the two halves in opposite directions to separate. (I did not peel the peaches.)

Place the peaches in a baking dish. Add a little butter and brown sugar to the top of the peach and a maybe a sprinkle of cinnamon. Then top with chopped pecans if desired. I desired. That’s it for the preparation!

The first time I made these, I used three peaches and baked them for about 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees, until the peaches were fork tender. I scooped two peach halves into each of our bowls and then added the finishing touch: a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

That ice cream worked its magic, melting slightly and forming a delicious topping that made the peaches even sweeter. What a delicious ending to our dinner.

A few days later, I decided to make the dish again at lunchtime. I prepared them the same way in a microwave-safe baking dish but then cooked them for 3 minutes in the microwave, instead of the oven, with the same yummy results. We ate the peaches this time without ice cream. The peaches had sweetened more and were still delicious without the ice cream on top.

There was a bonus to my baked peach treat. I had two baked peach halves left after the first night’s dinner and immediately knew what I wanted to do with them. That night, I prepared a jar of overnight oatmeal, placing 12 cup of old-fashioned oats and 12 cup of milk in a Mason jar. Then I cut up the baked peach halves and added them and the remaining pecans to the jar. Everything went into the refrigerator until the next morning.

I was very excited about my breakfast that next day. I opened the lid before heating the jar for about 45 seconds in the microwave. What a delicious breakfast! I did the same thing with the microwave peaches — using the leftover peach in my oats.

I am so pleased I have found two new ways to enjoy the season’s peaches. I just wish I had more opportunities to purchase peaches, fresh from the farm.

Once peach season has ended, I’ll be baking apples for overnight oatmeal!

lisa@wilsontimes.com | 265-7810

Baked Peaches

I did not measure ingredients, so this is a guide for preparation.

Peaches (Cling free will work best)*

Brown sugar

Butter

Cinnamon

Pecans, chopped

Cut peaches in half, starting at the stem end. Cut all the way around, then turn halves in opposite direction to separate (like you would do with an avocado.)

Place peaches in baking dish (microwave safe if that’s the way you will be cooking them.) In the dent left by the pit, place a little butter (around a 12 teaspoon) and about the same amount of brown sugar. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. Top with pecans.

Cook one of two ways: in oven at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until tender, or 3 minutes in microwave.

Top hot peaches with ice cream.

* If you don’t have cling free peaches, just slice the peaches, dot with butter and sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans on top.


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