PEACH FEST!

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photo (7)It’s true, peaches mean a lot to me.  I grew up in Romeo, Michigan where the Peach Festival was the highlight of the year and held over Labor Day weekend,  marked the end of summer–but in a good way.  I was in the parade, always went to the carnival and shared many wonderful memories with friends–many who I have unfortunately not seen in years!

My mother-in-law also use to make a fabulous peach custard pie with a broiled crumb top.  If my husband has behaved himself I like to make him one every once in a while.  He was on the road all week and I called him today and told him that I had made him a peach pie.  I know he will drive extra fast to get to the lake.  I mean to see me, well maybe the pie.

So I have listed a couple of my favorite jam recipes (especially good spooned over warm tapioca pudding) and my mother-in-laws custard peach pie recipe.

Romeo Peach Jam

4 cups of peeled and diced peaches  (I like Freestone peaches–there is a reason they are named Freestone–much easier to remove the stone)

1/4 c. fresh lemon juice

1 package pectin

4-5 cups sugar.

Directions:

Place peaches, lemon juice and pectin in a thick kettle and bring to a soft boil — the kind where little bubbles form at the top.  Add the sugar and boil for an additional minute or two.  Skim foam off the top if necessary.  While that is slightly cooling. . .

Sterilize 6, 1/2 pint jars, lids and rings.  I do this is the large kettle I will be process the jars in by placing them all in there and covering with water and bringing to a boil.  When the pot comes to a boil remove the jars, lids and rings.

Give them a second to dry out and fill the jars with the jam, leaving about a half inch at the top.  Wipe the rims with a clean cloth and place the lid on the jar and lightly screw on ring.

Bring the large pot of water back to a boil (it should be deep enough to cover the jars completely plus 1/2 inch minimum.  Place the jars back in the pot and process for 5 minutes.

Remove jars and place on wooden cutting board so they don’t touch.  Sit back and listen to that glorious sound of the popping of the lids sealing.  Ahhh, such a wonderful sound.  Store in dark place.  Enjoy!

And now, for the Adult Version

Peach Butter Bourbon Jam

Miss Beth, at “Parties in a Pinch”, one of the best catering experiences in Memphis, this is dedicated to you.  I believe Miss Beth’s motto is “Everything is better with bourbon!”

Ingredients

4 cups peaches – peeled and diced

1 cup bourbon

1 package pectin

2 Tablespoons butter

3 1/2 cups brown sugar

Follow the directions from the jam above.  Heavenly, oh yes, heavenly!  Try this on a bagel with cream cheese.  It also is a great glaze for baking a ham — just paint the ham.

and

Oma’s Peach Pie

This also makes a great slab pie.  What’s a slab pie?  Just like a regular pie but it is made in a 9 1/2 x 13 inch pan. (the pastry goes up the sides of the pan).  I still can picture this pie baked in Oma’s white enamelware pan.  Man, I miss that woman.

Ingredients

5 peaches, peeled and sliced (6 if they are small)

1 cup sour cream

3 egg yolks

1 cup sugar (I usually use a bit less)

1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 single pie crust – purchased or your favorite recipe

Directions

Roll out your pie crust and trim the edges.  I like to prebake the pie shell for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven and place the peaches in the bottom.

In a large bowl mix the 3 egg yolks, sour cream and brown sugar , flour and vanilla together and pour over peaches.

Top with the following struesel:  1/2  stick of chilled butter cubed , 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for an hour.

I like to serve it warm with ice cream.  I broil the top, watching very carefully not to burn — it gives the pie character.

And yes, grown men have wept.