Tree-ripened peaches are culinary gold for those who love the seasonal fruit, but can't get the orchard-fresh products that we can.
As peach season unfolds around us, take advantage of this seasonal fruit at local orchards. MacQueen Orchards in Holland is picking Red Haven, Flaming Fury, Harmony, and Red Kist peaches.
Erie Orchards in Erie, Mich., is picking Red Haven peaches followed by New Haven, Glo Haven, and other varieties.
Fresh peaches make delicious milk shakes
The season is expected to last through Labor Day.
This gives consumers plenty of time for fresh peach ice cream, pies, crisps, and muffins. If you don't have time for those summer treats, consider a fresh peach milkshake.
For two servings, blend 1 to 2 large ripe peaches, 1/2 cup milk, and 4 scoops of ice cream. Garnish with a fresh peach wedge and a sprig of fresh mint.
Using vanilla ice cream, Breyers offers a variety of ideas for making fresh fruit milk shakes:
For Berry Peach Shake: In a blender, place one large ripe peach (peeled and sliced), 1 cup fresh raspberries (rinsed), 1/2 cup milk, and 4 scoops vanilla ice cream; cover and blend until combined for 2 tall, chilled glasses.
For Key Lime Shake: In blender container, place 1/2 cup thawed frozen limeade concentrate, 6 scoops vanilla ice cream, and 1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel; cover and blend until combined for 2 tall, chilled glasses.
For Melon Cream Cooler: In blender container, place 2 cups peeled and chopped cantaloupe, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 4 scoops vanilla ice cream; cover and blend until combined for 2 tall, chilled glasses.
Linda Raschke of Holland was a first-place winner in the muffins/quick breads category of T-Fal 2003 Perfect Baker Contest. Her entry was Marbled Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting, which entitled her to an assortment of T-Fal cookware, aluminum bakeware, and small appliances worth $1,000.
The grand-prize-winning recipe for Harvest Confetti Bread came from Suzanne Ramsey of Washington. She received a trip for two to New York City and a baking class at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York.
For the Bread:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup (2 to 3 medium) ripe bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
For the Frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
To make Bread: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly spray bottom and sides of 5-by-9-inch nonstick loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
With medium-speed mixer, beat sugar and eggs in large bowl for 2 minutes. Add oil gradually in steady stream, beating until light in color and well-emulsified, about 2 minutes. Beat in bananas and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture. Stir in walnuts. Transfer 1 cup of batter to medium bowl and stir in melted chocolate.
Pour the plain batter into prepared pan. Spoon the chocolate batter over top of plain batter. Using the blade of a knife, swirl the batter to create a marble effect. Bake 55 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan set on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.
To make Frosting: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar until creamy. Spread frosting over surface of cool cake. Slice to serve. Store in refrigerator.
Yield: 12 slices
Source: Linda Raschke, first-place muffin/quick bread, 2003 T-Fal Perfect Baker Contest