Monday, September 5, 2011

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It’s All Going to Biscuits

Summer slurs into Autmn subtly in Southern California, but there's no denying that cooler weather is creeping upon us.

With the onset of light blanket nights, I’ve begun drinking more hot tea and resumed baking — pies mostly, but buttermilk biscuits as well. These are for me comfort foods and lately I’ve been craving a bit of comfort.

Biscuit, butter, and peach preserves
But hot buttermilk biscuits cry for some kind of...something, even if it’s just butter or honey. So, before Summer slipped way entirely, I scored one last flat of peaches and made a big jar of preserves for slathering on my steamy little indulgences.

There had been vague plans for using these peach preserves in a barbecue sauce, as a base to sweeten and flavor juleps, with roast pork, or maybe even to complement a batch of bitterballen, but at this rate, I think it’s all going to biscuits.
Peach Preserves

About 2.5 pounds ripe peaches
2.5 cups sugar
2-4 oz fresh lemon juice
one half teaspoon unsalted butter

Plunge the peaches in boiling water for about 1 minute to loosen the skins. Remove them with a skimmer to an ice bath and slip off the skins. Cut the skinned peaches in half, remove their pits, and cut each half into small, bite-sized pieces. Place the pieces in a large, heavy, nonreactive pan (I use a big old enameled Le Creuset Dutch oven). If you prefer an even more fine preserve, use a pastry knife to cut pieces into bits a little larger than grains of rice. Add the sugar and lemon juice. Let stand about ten minutes.

Turn the heat to high, add the butter (to help tamper down foaming) and cook about 10-14 minutes, until it holds its shape on a chilled saucer.

Ladle into jars and either process or keep in the fridge.

Makes about a quart of preserves.

Goes well with:

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