Peach season is in full swing now. I have been delighting in all the ways to develop cooked and no-cook peach dishes. Chilled peach soup, peach salads with arugula and burrata, and roast chicken with peach sauce are just a few.
It’s fun to select different peach varieties and taste them to decide on how best to use them in a dish. Some peaches have a distinct, acidy-sweet flavor, while others are pure fruit sugar flavor. There is nothing quite as delicious as eating a perfectly ripe peach over your kitchen sink with the juices dripping.
I recently developed this Seriously Simple quick bread that showcases fresh, ripe peaches. You’ll need to blanch the peaches to remove their skin. It’s easy:
- Immerse the peaches in a large pot of boiling water and move them around to blanch evenly.
- The skin will start to split. Depending upon how ripe they are this can take 30 seconds to a minute.
- Remove with a slotted spoon, let rest for a minute, and then peel off the skin.
You’ll notice that this bread has a double dose of peaches. Diced peaches are folded into the batter, and sliced peaches are arranged overlapping on top of the batter. The final touch is a sprinkling of cane or turbinado sugar for a crispy texture.
This loaf of peachy goodness can be served throughout the day. It’s wonderful for breakfast, sliced and served at room temperature. It’s also delicious toasted with a smear of unsalted butter. I like to serve this at teatime along with a cup of hot English tea or a glass of chilled iced tea. And, finally, it can be served as a dessert with a scoop of peach or vanilla ice cream. This will be gone before you know it.
Peach Tea Bread
Makes 1 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 large peaches, peeled (2 diced and 2 sliced)
1/4 cup peach nectar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cane or turbinado sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare a 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan with baking spray.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into a medium bowl.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer in a medium bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, until blended in and the mixture is smooth. Add the flour mixture alternately with the diced peaches, mixing to combine. Add the peach nectar and vanilla and make sure the peaches are evenly mixed into the batter.
4. Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth out with a spatula. Carefully place the sliced peaches, overlapping, in the middle of the pan all the way across. Sprinkle the turbinado or cane sugar evenly over the top.
5. Bake for 1 hour, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean from the center of the loaf.
6. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack. Reverse it onto a rectangular serving platter. Cut a few slices for a pretty presentation and serve.
(Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at www.seriouslysimple.com.)
©2022 Diane Rossen Worthington. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.