September is just peachy here in Utah. From smoothies to cobblers to pies and ice cream, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the local peaches.
Fresh Peach Surprise helped Suzy Johnson, of North Ogden, win the Iron Pig Championship Cook-Off in South Jordan on Sept. 7.
She and her sous chef, Matt Olsen, of South Weber, had to make three dishes in two hours that had a fair/carnival theme. They made a Cowboy Sundae — a base of sweet potato fries, topped with pork and beans laced with fresh peach puree, then a beer bratwurst sausage, and apple coleslaw.
She also served a deep-fried club sandwich wrap. This was a creative twist on typical deep-fried fair foods (funnel cakes, corn dogs, deep-fried Snickers and so on).
The dessert was Fresh Peach Surprise, with layers of whipped cream, and fresh peaches. Since fairs show off blue-ribbon fresh produce, this was another twist on the theme that proved to be a winner.
The Iron Pig Cooking Club is a group of culinary-minded Utahns who like to cook and taste good, creative food. Club founders Tom and Teresa Akagi organize contests throughout the year, in which members cook and then judge one another’s dishes. The winners of those contests compete in a final cook-off during the Daybreak community’s annual Fizz Fest.
“This is the second competition we’ve done together,” said Johnson, of her partnership with Olsen. “I’ve done a few other competitions with other cooking groups, too.”
Fresh peach ice cream is another way to enjoy the season’s bounty. This recipe is almost like a sorbet because it has a high ratio of peaches to cream. It’s lighter-tasting and lighter on calories as well.
Just peel and puree the peaches, add cream and sugar, and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions. You can vary the amount of sugar used, depending on the sweetness of the peaches and your own sweet tooth. You can also leave some of the peaches in chunks, if desired.
My Fresh Peach Ice Cream recipe follows the Johnson/Olsen concoction that helped capture the Iron Pig.
Fresh Peach Surprise
This recipe helped Suzy Johnson, North Ogden, and Matt Olsen, South Weber, win the 2013 Iron Pig Championship Cook-Off.
1 box vanilla wafer cookies
6-9 large peaches
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
8-ounce container whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)
Crush enough vanilla wafers to make about 2 1/2 cups. Spread 2 cups of the crumbs evenly on the bottom of a pie tin or dish. Reserve the other 1/2 cup crumbs for topping.
Line the side of the dish with a layer of whole vanilla wafers.
Peel, pit and slice peaches. Puree one of the peaches in a blender or with an immersion blender, and set aside.
Mix sweetened condensed milk with lemon juice and whipped topping.
Place peaches over the top of the vanilla wafer crumbs. Then spread a layer of the whipped topping mixture over the peaches. Top with another layer of peaches, and then more whipped topping.
Sprinkle the remaining half-cup of vanilla wafer crumbs over the top, and drizzle with reserved peach puree.
Cover and chill before serving.
Options: This recipe may also be used with other fruits, such as strawberries, nectarines, blueberries and bananas.
Fresh Peach Ice Cream
12-15 fresh ripe peaches
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar (more if desired)
Peel and pit the peaches. (If they are ripe enough, the skins will peel right off with your fingers.) Puree the peaches in 2 batches in a blender until smooth, or place the peaches in a large bowl and use an immersion blender to puree them. (You may also opt to rough-chop one or two of the peaches to give the ice cream a chunky texture.) You should have 6-7 cups of peach puree. Stir in the cream and sugar until well-mixed. Taste and add more sugar if desired.
Options: For Peach-Basil Ice Cream, add 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil when adding the cream and sugar.
Freeze according to your ice cream freezer’s directions.
Valerie Phillips blogs at www.chewandchat.blogspot.com.