September sees summer slowly packing up its bags as the city waves off the longest and the hottest of days until next year. One of our favourite late-summer ingredients is stone fruits, particularly peaches. Unlike most fruits that once picked, merely soften and do not truly ripen (hello flavourless strawberries we are looking at you), peaches can ripen at home. The easiest way to tell when they are ready is by smelling them, no smell usually means no flavour. If you want to speed up the ripening process, keep them in a paper bag; if you want to slow it down, pop your peaches in the fridge.
Our chefs gave us their favourite ways to tackle a glut of late-summer peaches.
Josh Stumbaugh, Associazione Chianti
Easy Peachy Jam
- 2kg peaches (pits removed and cut into large chunks)
- 2.5 cups sugar
- 2 lemons, juiced
- Toss peaches in sugar until coated then add them into a large saucepot with the lemon juice.
- Over medium-high heat, gently stir your peach-sugar mixture until they start to release their juices and a sauce starts to form.
- Lower heat to a low simmer. Now, you can either mash up the peaches or leave them chunky, where they will continue to break down as the jam simmers. This is up to your preference for texture.
- Simmer for 1-2 hours until your jam starts to tighten and leaves a thick coating on the back of a spoon.
- Remove from the heat and pour into sealable glass jars. Allow to cool completely, preferably overnight, before consuming.
- Spread over toast or use as a pastry filling.
*Jam can last up to 3 weeks in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.
Karys Logue, Butter
Peach Julep Pavlova
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 125 ℃.
- Whip egg whites until medium peak texture (can hold gentle peaks) and gradually add in sugar. Whip for 2 minutes more. Add cornstarch and whip for 20 seconds. Remove the mixer and gently fold in vinegar and vanilla.
- On a tray lined with parchment paper, place all of the meringue into a pile in the centre. Use a spatula to push the meringue into a disc shape, about 1-2 inches tall.
- Bake for 55 minutes, then turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool for at least 20 minutes more before removing from the oven.
Mint and Ginger-marinated Peaches
- 2 peaches, cut into wedges
- 1 small knob ginger, finely grated
- ½ bunch of mint, roughly chopped (plus a few sprigs for garnish)
- 100g water
- 150g sugar
- Boil sugar and water, then add ginger. Allow syrup to infuse for 15 minutes, then strain and add mint. Toss with peach pieces and marinate anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours. Strain and set aside.
- 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
- Marinated peaches, strained
- 1 lime, for zesting
- Mint Sprigs
- On top of Pavlova, add a generous spread of whipped cream. Place drained peaches on top and garnish with lime zest and fresh mint. Enjoy!
Braden Reardon, Carbone
Peach and Feta Salad (serves four)
- 2 peaches, pitted and sliced
- 2 big handfuls of leafy greens (we like arugula and spinach)
- ¼ cup loosely packed basil leaves
- ½ cup crumbled feta
- Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
- Heat griddle pan on medium and lay on peach slices until slight char marks appear, around 2 minutes per side.
- Put the salad leaves, basil and most of the dressing in a bowl and toss well.
- Top with peaches, crumbled feta and the last of the vinaigrette.
Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
- ½ lemon
- 2tbsp honey
- 1tsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk ingredients in a bowl and set aside.