OH HOW I LOVE MY
SPICY PICKLED PEACHES
i know i'll get some flack from real peach lovers and "true canners" out there, but i mostly do these with canned peaches. i'm addicted and have to have them in the pantry all year 'round.
here in Newport Beach fresh peaches aren't really fresh...in my opinion. they arrive unripened, hard as a rock in a big truck and are expected to ripen in the store. fresh peaches tend to be "iffy" or way too pricey at the farmers markets. it's hard to trust that each one will be juicy and delicious. i have wasted many a seemingly beautiful peach...too hard, too soft, bruised, pithy or just no peach flavor at all. i bought 10 and could only use 6.
YES...i have used real peaches for this recipe and, YES they were better, but canned are dependable, quite a bit cheaper...AND SO MUCH EASIER. i hate peeling peaches...yes, i have tried the dipping in boiling water trick. i opted for the good ol' potato peeler.
real fresh peaches are fabulous, BUT...
if you want to try this out and don't want to spend the time and money with fresh peaches...i swear you will love these even if they are...
CANNED "CANNED" PEACHES
oh...i almost forgot...
how do you use these spicy pickled peaches?...
one of my favorites is with fried chicken
OR sliced with a juicy cheeseburger
diced in vanilla greek yogurt
sliced with fresh ricotta and scone.
along side a beautiful cheese platter.
or serve with CRISPY SKIN PORK BELLY !!!
SPICED PICKLED CANNED PEACHES
(i think this makes about 6 pint jars)
7-8 peeled peaches, sliced 3/4 inch thick
OR...THE CHEATER METHOD...
5 jars "DOLE sliced yellow cling peaches in 100% juice", drained and rinsed in filtered water.
2 qts white grape juice
1 cup sugar
1 cup white wine vinegar
7 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 big tsp cardamom
1/2 big tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground chipotle
5-6 dried chili arbol
4 cinnamon sticks
6-7 whole cloves
5-6 cardamom pods
IMPORTANT...if canning..sterilize jars and lids. put a large stock pot of water on for your water bath.
1...dissolve three(3) crushed vitamin C tablets in 2 qts of cool water. this is to keep the peaches from turning color
2.... get your pickling liquid together and bring that to a boil. take off heat and let steep while working on peaches. TASTE TEST...a pinch here, another sprig there? more sugar?
3...peel peaches. i use a potato peeler. i find it faster and easier than boiling water and dunking each peach in to loosen the skin....
4.....cut peaches into 3/4 inch slices and put them in the bowl of cool vitamin C water.
NOTE...if using "cheater method"...skip steps 1 , 3 and 4
5...strain the pickling liquid through double or triple cheesecloth, BUT SAVE SOME OF THE GOODIES. the cloves, cinnamon stick, chili, rosemary, cardamom pods
6...introduce the peaches into the pickling liquid in a large pot and warm everything together. i don't think there is any need to bring it to a boil, just get it warm enough so that jars are warm going into the canning bath. remove from heat.
7...fill jars with peaches and liquid. arrange some rosemary, cardamom, chili and cloves around to add flavor and look nice.
let come to room temp. they can even sit on the counter over night. then refrigerate for at least a week to absorb flavors.
NOTE...i like to have extra rosemary, chilis, cloves, cardamom, etc... that have been cleaned and boiled in the liquid. i like to make sure each jar has these elements because they will continue to flavor the peaches.
or i suggest canning them.
i have only "canned" these so i don't know how well the flavors will absorb with the refrigerator method. canning is a bit of a pain, but it is so fabulous to grab a jar out of the pantry when needed.
besides...i don't have that kind of space in my packed-to-the-brim fridge.
PS... my friend Stephanie used the liquid for a BELLINI-MARTINI and cursed me the next morning. the martinis were so good she had three...