This is week two in our amazingly fun Summer Fest! Thanks to everyone who left comments, all your amazing suggestions and tips have been so priceless! For more on how this all works visit my post last week here and remember to leave comments here and on your blog as well as the other hosts. And feel free to grab the Summer Fest icon, I made it for you!
One of the world’s greatest rap songs ever written happens to include a micro-ode to summer’s most delightful gems:
“Take a Peach
Take a Plum
Take A Piece Of Bubble Gum
No Piece Of…
–JJ Fad’s Supersonic, 1988.
While I do love bubblegum and Supersonic, I just happen to love peaches and plums a wee bit more. And as part of Summer Fest 2009 we’re talking about stone fruit–all those delicious summer peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, as well as the recent hybrids like angelcots and pluots and all the other ots.
I am blessed with a mini-grove of fruit trees planted by Adam’s grandmother back in the late 1950s. The nectarine and apricot trees hang out all year long, keep the giant orange tree company until their summer shift begins. They clock in, put on some leaves, and get to work churning out buds and later fat ripe fruit that I can barely keep up with. When we are up to our eyeballs in stone fruit (I’m sure it’s a ploy to distract us), they quickly sneak off, clock out and take an 11-month break. Heck, they deserve it.
Because of the abundance they produce I’ve been able to indulge in a variety of stone fruit recipes. I’ve made cobblers, cakes, ice creams, sorbets, salsas, marinades, just about anything that I felt was in line with my skill level. Some were successes (cobblers and ice creams) while others were failures (a few salsas just never got the balance right). But if I need to use a large amount of nectarines or apricots I can think of nothing better than cobblers. Or even ice cream which never really lasts that long at my home anyway. And I know what you’re thinking right now, you want to tell me about canning and preserving. Go ahead, I’ll let you. But I’ve never canned a thing in my life and the thought is quite daunting.
Maybe next year?
Like last year I’ve made a few cobblers as well as my pal David’s Apricot Ice Cream. And I love this ice cream. Creamy, rich, with that slight tang (is that what it is?) of the apricots. And just so you know, this ice cream makes amazing milkshakes.
David says if you’re lucky enough to find a bounty of fresh summer apricots then you must take advantage of them–their season is far too short. Next year I’m inviting you over and you can have as many as you want!
Apricot Ice Cream from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
1 pound squishy-ripe fresh apricots (10 to 16, depending on size)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
3 drops almond extract
a few drops freshly squeezed lemon juice
Slice open the apricots and remove the pits, then cut each apricot into sixths. Cook the apricot pieces with the water in a covered medium, nonreactive saucepan over medium heat until tender, about 8 minutes, and stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Let cool to room temperature.
Once cool, purée the apricots and any liquid in a blender or food processor until smooth. Taste a big spoonful; if there are any small fibers, press the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove them. Stir in the cream, almond extract, and lemon juice.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Other Summer Fest Posts:
Jaden’s amazing salad recipe with a few of my personal favorite ingredients
Margaret’s Clafoutis, another favorite of mine that is usually gone in about 6 minutes
Todd & Diane’s Peach Cooler which makes me ask “Where’s The Booze?”
Marilyn creates a Ginger Peach Pandowdy and you’ll want to check it out!
Other stone fruit posts from matt: