Can we have peach week please? There’s still time.
Did something go awry with peach season, or does it always linger this late? Looking at the ginormous bins of peaches alongside tomatoes, peppers and zucchini feels like every year at Easter, when I wonder aloud to anyone who might know whether it’s the Friday or Monday that’s the holiday? And who gets it off again? And what day do you hunt for eggs and eat the ham? And why can’t I remember how it goes from year to year? Maybe I’m overthinking things, but it’s never a bad idea to stock up on peaches when they might be the last of the season.
Awake with insomnia, skimming food blogs I haven’t visited in awhile, pondering what to do with all those peaches (it’s what I do) I came across Delicious Days (hello, old friend!) at about midnight last night, and on it this tangy peach ketchup, which is really like a pureed chutney. Sweet, vinegary and mildly spiced, I was up before the sun making it (more of what I do), which is why I didn’t manage to document its creation – it came to be before there was enough light to get a good look.
I’m not one to jar my own peach halves in simple syrup, but I do love a good chutneyketchup. And a reason to buy more peaches. And a reason to make samosas. (For dipping in said ketchup, that is.)
Adapted from Delicious Days.
canola or other vegetable oil, for cooking
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1-2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp. tomato paste or 1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4-1/2 tsp. curry powder or paste
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup white balsamic or white wine vinegar
4 large-ish peaches, unpeeled
2-3 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
salt to taste
In a medium saucepan, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion for 3-4 minutes, until soft; add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, curry powder and cinnamon and cook for another minute.
Add the vinegar and cook until it reduces by about half, then add the peaches, brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, until everything is very soft. Remove from heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender right in the pot, or carefully transfer to a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Store in jars in the fridge or freezer.
Makes about 2 cups.
But wait! There’s more!
I made something else late at night in the dark, and because I have two recipes that make great use of peaches but only one photo per, I thought I’d live on the edge and offer up two at once! Does that confuse things? Ah well, my index is an unupdated mess anyway. (By the way, thanks to all of you who offered up advice for my site redesign – I’m not sure which is scarier, home renos or blog renos. But you have great ideas, and I’m happy to hear there isn’t a whole lot more broken than I’m already aware of!)
This is pulled pork with peaches. I did it in the slow cooker and sliced fresh peaches right in, so that they softened/melted/caramelized into the pork, adding sweetness (pork & peaches? sounds like a reality show couple) and tanginess and all that makes a peach a peach, sans fuzz. I’ll tell you there were more yummy noises than usual at CBC this morning, and someone in the control room said, mouth full, “Julie? MEGA success, this.” So here you go, in time for slow cooker season.
Pulled Pork with Peaches
olive or canola oil, for cooking
1 3-4 lb. pork shoulder
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 peaches, sliced or diced (don’t bother peeling them)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed
barbecue sauce, to taste
soft buns or biscuits
In a heavy skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat and brown the pork on all sides, turning it with tongs. Transfer to a slow cooker and add the onions to the pan, stirring them around to loosen any browned bits. Add them to the slow cooker along with the peaches, brown sugar, apple cider, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and garlic. (If you like, add a glug of barbecue sauce too.) Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours.
Pull the pork apart with forks and leave the lid off for awhile to reduce the sauce a bit; add some barbecue sauce if you like as you pull the meat apart, otherwise serve it alongside for people to add their own. Serve piled on soft buns or biscuits. Serves 8-10.