Let’s get to the point about peaches in Colorado, or should I say…the pit. Colorado has some of the best peaches in the United States bar none, especially from the Palisade region, but we have little time left to enjoy these delectable stone fruits since their growing season is late and short. While we may not have Mackinaw peaches in Colorado, I can provide some recipes to turn any variety of peach from a solid mid-afternoon snack into a delectable dessert, a savory and sweet salad and a peachy keen pizza.
Peaches are synonymous with sweet desserts, and there are so many of them right now. What better way to use them than to load up an 8 x 13 pan and make this take on a classic peach cobbler?
Cornbread peach cobbler
1 pound of ripe peaches, peeled (if desired) and sliced
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Juice from half a lemon
1 8.5-ounce package of cornbread mix (plus accoutrements)
Vanilla ice cream (for serving)
Butter an 8 x 13 glass or metal pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, gently fold the peaches together with the sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice until evenly coated. Allow the mixture to sit for at least half an hour or longer to make sure the sugar dissolves and the peaches release their juices.
Meanwhile, prepare the cornbread batter according to the instructions.
Dump the peaches into the prepared pan and scoop tablespoon-fuls of the cornbread on top of the peaches. It can be messy!
Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the top is brown and the peaches are bubbling. Be sure to enjoy it warm with a large helping of vanilla ice cream!
If salads and peaches aren’t friends already, they should be. They are a match made in heaven and when combined with nuts, burrata and balsamic drizzle, they’re even better.
Peach Salad with walnuts and Burrata
½ cup walnuts loosely chopped
4 ounces butter lettuce chopped
4 ounces arugula
½ cup sliced cucumbers
½ cup cherry (or your favorite) tomatoes sliced in half
½ pound sliced peaches
Avocado slices for topping
Balsamic glaze for topping
1-2 balls of burrata for topping, sliced in half
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the walnuts on a small sheet pan and toast in the oven for 3-5 minutes until fragrant, shaking halfway through. Cool.
In a large bowl toss the walnuts, lettuce, arugula, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and peaches. Place the mixture on a plate and top with avocado slices, balsamic glaze and burrata. Enjoy!
Pizza is endlessly customizable and can be substituted with lighter toppings for the summer heat. I suggest, I don’t know, peaches?
Pesto and Peach Pizza
1 pound of store-bought or homemade pizza crust
All-purpose flour for dusting
½ cup pesto
¼ cup of mascarpone or ricotta
1-2 large ripe tomatoes sliced
5 jarred artichoke hearts sliced
½ pound peaches sliced
2 ounces arugula
Preheat the oven and pizza stone (if you have one) to 550 degrees.
Divide the dough into two balls, or if you prefer, you can make one large pizza. Roll both balls out into 6-8 inch rounds with a crust. Split the pesto evenly among the two pizzas and spread it on each round. Evenly distribute the mascarpone or ricotta, tomatoes and artichokes on the rounds.
Bake for 5-10 minutes until crust is brown and bubbly.
Allow the pizzas to cool to keep the arugula from wilting. Place the peaches and a mound of arugula on each pizza and slice.
Graphic by Neako Hallisey.