In Maryland, our wonderfully capricious weather lets us hold on to that summertime feeling into fall. “Just Peachy” by Belinda Smith-Sullivan (Gibbs-Smith 2019) will help you preserve those warm summer vibes even when fall truly arrives. This beautiful cookbook has an extensive collection of recipes that are peach-inspired and will allow home cooks to enjoy this fruit all year long. More than 70 recipes cover a wide-range of dishes that include peaches—breads, breakfasts, appetizers, entrees, sauces, and of course, desserts, drinks, preserves, and condiments. Everything from sweet to savory. All the recipes are accompanied by beautiful color photos.
Also included is a list of all the peach varietals and how to use them, a history of peaches, and more.
Belinda is a chef, food writer, spice blends entrepreneur, and a commercially-rated pilot. You can find her articles in South Carolina Living and Bella magazines. For more information, visit her website at www.ChefBelindaSpices.com.
Serves 8 to 10
The buckle, the almost-forgotten American pie, was the precursor to the coffee cake. While the preparations are similar, a coffee cake will generally be finished on top with a layer of streusel.
Not so for the buckle, which is finished with more of whichever fruit for which it is named. Feel free to make this recipe using blueberries, raspberries, or any berries of your choice. For a more rustic presentation, this dish is spectacular when served in a cast iron skillet.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon cardamom
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄2 cup milk
2 to 3 peaches, sliced (peeled or unpeeled)
1 pint blackberries
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until it is a pale yellow. Add the sugar and continue beating until thoroughly mixed. Add the egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture, alternating with the milk, until well-mixed.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and add the peaches and blackberries, spreading evenly in a pretty design.
Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cool completely in pan. Remove sides and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve at room temperature.
Peach-Glazed Ham Steak
Ham steak is traditionally thought of as a breakfast item, but properly prepared, it can be an anytime-of-the-day meal. Feeding a crowd? Use this glaze recipe on a whole ham—just double the glaze ingredients.
2 peaches, peeled and chopped small
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 smoked ham steak, 1⁄2-inch thick (about 1 1⁄4 pound)
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the peaches, brown sugar, water, chile powder, mustard, and cardamom. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and peaches start to break down, about 20 minutes.
Make diagonal cuts, 1 inch apart, into outer edges of ham steak to prevent it from curling up on the grill.
On an outdoor grill or an indoor grill pan, over medium-high heat, place the ham steak and brush the top with glaze. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes and turn over. Brush the cooked side with glaze and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Remove to a platter, brush once more with the glaze, and let rest for 5 minutes.