Monday, August 30, 2010

Peach Accompli

So for my first two peach consumption recipes I made my favorite rhubarb crunch recipe and a peach gelato with no egg yolks.

It never ceases to amaze me how effective it is to peel peaches by blanching them in boiling water then shocking them in ice water. I tried to do this once with green tomatoes for a pie I was making, but that wasn't nearly as effective (probably not enough pectin to loosen through the process).

<<< These peaches were pureéd for the gelato.

I got the crunch recipe from a family cookbook of my former cafeteria boss in academy. I like it because there's crunch on the top and bottom and the cinnamon (for this recipe I split the spice with ginger, though I should have used more) is so very aromatic. It's also a simple recipe to execute and adaptable to any seasonal fruits. Another mistake I made (can you use a word like "another" when referring to a comment made in parenthesis?) was not cutting the peaches uniformly and small enough to get a good dense layer of fruit. Some might call this rustic, I call it inefficient and lazy. I must confess, though, that I do enjoy the big burst of peach flavor in every other bite.

I have this preconception about gelato that one of the things that separates it from ice cream or frozen custard is that it doesn't contain egg yolks, only milk to provide the fat, and maybe some milk powder for smoothness/richness. Though some brief research while trying to pick a gelato recipe from my rss recipe cache revealed from a trusted source that gelato just means frozen in Italian, and the ingredients vary from the intensely regional cuisines from North to South, with the North having richer gelato with eggs and chocolate and local nuts, like hazelnut, to the South and their granita.

Despite being armed with this info, I was hesitant to use 8 yolks in a recipe I hadn't made before, and while enjoying homemade ice cream with numerous yolks before, I wanted to make gelato (dammit) and my mind still hadn't expanded to include eggs in it.

So I went with a simple recipe, which may or may not have been a good idea. The recipe, if you don't care to click through, is two tablespoons of cornstarch, a cup each of whole milk and heavy cream, three quarters cup sugar, three cups of fruit and a tablespoon of vodka. Very simple.

The trick with simple recipes is excellent technique and execution. There's three things I didn't do that I feel contributed to the finished product being less than I hoped. I didn't attend to the dairy and slurry mixture enough, and it scalded on the bottom removing valuable thickening starches. I didn't return it to the heat after adding the peach pureé to reduce the water content, leaving too much fodder for ice crystals. And the third denial of culinary principles before the cock crowed was not adding enough Galliano to shine through after churning. I thought its vanilla would pair nicely. I could taste it in the mix before, but it's nonexistent now. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Salt you moron!] Alcohol's function is to lower the freezing temperature of the gelato to keep it melty so you can taste the intense flavors without numbing your tastebuds. I thought I could add some flavor to the functionality, alas.

My sister really enjoys the gelato, and it is a nice expression of peach, just not what I think it could be.

On a metablogging note, do you compose your post in reverse so that the pictures end up at the bottom, or do you have to do what I do and cut the code and paste it where you want?

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische.



At August 31, 2010 9:22 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

That looks great, but I must warn you, the link on your last post was walware.

At September 01, 2010 2:31 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

How do I fix that?

At September 01, 2010 9:24 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

All I know is that I haven't been able to use my work computer for a week while it's been scanned for viruses.


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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Peaches and Herb

A s a child, there were four things I didn't like to eat: tomatoes, cheese, cottage cheese, and peaches.

I eventually embraced tomatoes and cheese. Every time I try cottage cheese again to see if my palate has changed, I'm revolted again for the first time. The peach that I mainly objected to was the canned peach in syrup or fruit cocktail, though I didn't care for other peach flavored things like Peach-Os. Then, as a cafeteria worker in academy working the supper shift with Angela Barber, I decided to like peaches. And I have appreciated them ever since (I'm sure that nectarines had a hand in bringing me to their cousins.).

Fast forward to the last 36 hours. My sister has been getting peaches at the store the past few shopping trips, and they've tasted quite wonderful out of hand. Last night a Union College student called me to say his parents were coming through with a bunch of peaches and pears from Colorado. I asked how big the boxes were, and when I heard they came in 22 and 19 pound boxes, I said I couldn't process that many and didn't bother asking how much they were. This morning, I told my sister about the call, and she expressed interest in getting some peaches. Alas I didn't remember the student's name (I still don't know how he got my number.), but I said I'd ask the student workers if they knew who it was. Long story short, the aforementioned parents parked their trailer full of fruit right in front of my work (located on campus), and the father came in and announced to everyone that he had peaches for 25 and pears for 27 dollars a box.

Now I have 22 pounds of peaches I must use before they turn. I did a quick search in my email of my over 2000 saved recipes from my RSS feeds (a majority come from tastespotting, which is an aggregate of food blogs with photos). I have 43 choices, four of which are ice creams or gelato. But I've been wanting to make a galette for a very long time, and I have two little tubs of local quark cheese I got at the farmer's market almost too long ago.

I'm going to make a peach quark ginger galette, an ice cream/gelato, a crisp, and probably a cobbler but maybe a muffin of some sort. I'll try to document these here.

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische.



At August 30, 2010 9:21 AM, Blogger CëRïSë said...

Do tell how it goes! That sounds delicious. If you don't get to all your peaches, have you considered freezing some? I grew up eating them partially thawed on hot cereal and other things. Delicious.

At August 30, 2010 9:07 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

My consideration of freezing them has stopped at the extreme dearth of space in my freezer, a quarter of which is occupied by frost, another quarter by store-bought frozen rhubarb.

At August 30, 2010 9:08 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

However, they were really great on some waffles with a homemade whipped cream with some Kraken black spiced rum in it.


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