Let’s talk about peaches and the best produce, before I give you my favorite summer dessert recipe.
We just about drown in peaches in the summer, in North Carolina. Before I moved here, I never knew a peach could taste so good.
Now, you can just eat a peach, and that is awesome. Peaches are high in fiber (especially if you eat the skin), low in calories and nil in fat. Peaches also contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. (Plums, nectarines, pluots, and apricots carry the same wonderful package.) We’ve got vitamins C, A, and B-carotene. We have potassium, flouride, and iron. Peaches provide healthy energy and are simply sumptuous in the summertime, when they are fresh and juicy. (Notice I am making the assumption that you understand this: fresh fruit (or veggies) are only as good as your supply. Sticking close to home with seasonal offerings is the best option (especially organic). Co-ops are a super idea. (See Local Harvest to check out options in your area.) Otherwise, find a conscientious distributor, like WholeFoods, EarthFare, or a local grocer.) You really are going to enjoy produce more if it is a better product, not to mention that they are actually healthier.)
I enjoy peaches out of hand, but also in sangria (virgin or otherwise), in a crisp (crumble, grunt) or turnover, and also as a shortcake option. Now, strawberry shortcake is my most favorite dessert (when done right, that is), but peaches also makes an awesome option. This works out well since strawberries burden the vines early in the season and then peaches come in laden barrels later on. Oh, North Carolina! (We are the second-most agriculturally diverse state after California.)
Here is my hearty and delectable recipe for shortcakes. I personally don’t like to mess with the fruit too much for a shortcake, and prefer simply sliced strawberries or peaches to the syrupy kind. On top of that cake and fruit, I love a dollop of whipped cream, though. To accomplish, just pour a carton (size of your choice) heavy cream in a clean and cool mixing bowl (preferably stainless steel or glass) and whip at high with a hand or stand beater and a couple tablespoons maple syrup (and optional teaspoon vanilla) until pretty firm peaks form. Serve at once, as whipped cream does not keep well.
MY FAVORITE SHORTCAKES
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together 3 cups spelt flour (preferably whole), 1/2 cup evaporated cane sugar (or other sugar, if you must), 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Add 7 tablespoons coconut oil (or, again, another oil if you must), 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 2/3 cup hot water, with a wooden or firm plastic spoon, until just incorporated.
- Turn dough out onto flour-dusted counter top and roll until about 1 inch thick.
- Cut out rounds with the end of a drinking glass or cookie cutter (about 3 inches across).
- Place on a cookie sheet which is either greased or lined with parchment paper. I love airbake pans. You should have about 12 cakes.
- Bake for 16 minutes, until a little golden and flaky.
- Optionally, cut in half horizontally and fill/top with fresh, sliced strawberries or other fresh berry, and 1 cup cream, whipped with 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup and an optional teaspoon vanilla until medium peaks form.