Summer’s End and Peach Tarts

By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer’s best of weather And autumn’s best of cheer.   –Helen Hunt Jackson

There is a time in the last few days of summer when the ripeness of autumn fills the air.   –Rudolfo Anaya

 

Hey there– I’m wondering if autumn is rolling in where you are.  It’s just starting to come for us and I’m savoring the September warm (but not too hot!) days and summer fruit still in piles at the market.  This week I picked up a few peaches for tarts.

You can get these pretty tarts in the oven in about 10 minutes–so easy. They’re the perfect light ending that last summer meal.

PEACH TARTS ON PUFF PASTRY
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed*
2 large ripe peaches
4 oz. cream cheese
a few shakes of cinnamon
2- 4  tab. honey
serve with:  ice cream

Cut the puff pastry into 6 squares with a pizza cutter (or a sharp knife).  Lay the squares of pastry onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.

Divide the cream cheese into 6 parts and spread it over the pastry, leaving a 1/2 inch margin around the edges.

Slice the peaches thinly (leave on the skin) and layer them over the cream cheese. Dust the peaches lightly with cinnamon.

Pop them into a 425 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the pastry is puffed around the edges and the peaches are tender.

Drizzle honey over the peach tarts and serve them warm with ice cream or whipped cream.  Enjoy!

 

And just want to say Good Bye Summer by collecting these memories all in one spot.  I’ll miss the golden days and good times with family & friends in these long and lzy summer days…

Kicked off summer with Grammy Camp— love reading and creating and laughing with those girls.

     

 

We began the 4th of July with a breakfast & beach walk along with dear friends.
     

 

Family came in fo the weekend to celebrate Nick & Alyssa’s beautiful wedding.


John & Laurel took us in for a great week in
Wisconsin— lots of boating, evening walks, good meals and time to talk…

     

 

The Monday night friends rounded up a few times for lunch over our summer break.  Love those beautiful faces.

 

A bunch of family met up rustic little cabins for 5 days of hiking, s’mores and campground meals at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.  Loved having the grand-girls at arm’s length and waking under those glorious trees!

     

 

And finally there were a couple trips up to San Francisco to dote on grand-kids and to welcome new grand-guy, Oscar into the world.

   

Ah Summer, going to miss those long bright days, times with out & about with people we love.  But the joys of Autumn are around the corner.

 “The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last for ever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year – the days when summer is changing into autumn – the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change.”

―E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

 

And P.S.  — here’s a few more favorite peach recipes:
Avocado Chicken with
Chipotle Peach Salsa

 

Fresh Peach Cobbler

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Peach Crostata

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Peaches & Cream Tart

 

 

 

 

  

 

Peach Pecan Bread


Hey all– I just can’t resist picking over the piles of peaches and nectarines every time I hit the market.  It’s one of the best parts of August (compensation for the heat??!).  We’ve been eating them every day.

Here’s a little loaf I baked, for friends who came to brunch this week.  And I found it it’s even yummier toasted in the toaster oven the next day–sweet and peachy ad crunchy around the edges!

PEACH PECAN BREAD
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
2 large peaches, peeled, pitted, cut to chunks
2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup whole milk (or half & half)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 to 2 tab. whole milk or half & half

Peel and cut up the peaches.  Set aside.  Chop the pecans.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, milk, oil and eggs.  Then mix in the flour, salt and baking powder.  The batter will be a bit dry.  Then fold in the peaches and pecans until it is thoroughly blended.

Spoon the batter into a standard 9″x5″ loaf pan (or I used two smaller half size pans).  Pop them into a 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until a sharp knife inserted comes out clean.

Let the bread cool 20 minutes (or more) and the whisk together the powdered sugar and milk for the glaze, and drizzle it over the bread.  Slice & eat!!

Fresh Peach Cobbler

Hi there– how’s your summer going??  We’re getting a big dose of summer here with our kids in Wisconsin!  Yesterday afternoon, John grilled steaks while Laurel made salads and I put this peach cobbler in the oven.  Dinner out on their back porch with the fireflies under the towering oak trees–just grand!

But even better– the next morning Laurel & I sat out on that back porch in the sunshine and had leftover peach cobbler for breakfast!  Good start to a good day with L & J!!

FRESH PEACH COBBLER

Peaches:
7 medium ripe peaches
2/3 cup sugar
1 tab. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Cobbler Biscuits:
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup + 2 tab. sugar
2 tab. cornmeal
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla

Peel and pit the peaches.  Cut them into nice bite size chunks.

In a 9″ x 13″ baking dish, stir together the peaches, 2/3 cup sugar, cornstarch and 1/4 tsp. salt.  Sprinkle the cinnamon over the top of it all.

To make the biscuits, stir together the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla until the batter is stiff.

Divide the dough into 8 blobs and drop them on top of the peaches.

Pop the whole thing into the oven at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until the biscuits are browned and the peaches are tender.  Add a scoop of ice cream and enjoy!

*If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, substitute by putting a tablespoon of cider vinegar into the measuring cup and filling up to 1/2 cup.  Let it sit a few minutes to thicken.

 

Peaches & Cream Tart

 

Hi all– OK, OK, just one more peach recipe!!  I’ve had this one on my Pinterest board for months.  It calls for canned peaches (!), but I wanted to try it with fresh summer peaches and now’s the time!

Made it for my Monday ladies who came in the door this week.  And Larry and I split the leftover piece watching the Angel Baseball game on tv–sweet and peachy!!  Hope you still have peaches at the market so you can give it a try!

PEACHES & CREAM TART
1 white cake mix
1/3 cup butter (2/3 stick), room temperature*
2 eggs, divided
3 large yellow peaches
8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. amaretto (or vanilla)**

In a mixing bowl cut together the cake mix, butter and 1 egg with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Set aside one cup of the mixture for later.

Take the remaining mixture in the bowl and press it into a 9″x 13″ baking dish (or 12″ tart pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Pop it into a 350 degree oven for just 10 minutes.

While that’s cooking, peel, pit and cut the 3 peaches into 1″ chunks.  When the baked crumb layer comes out of the oven spread the peaches over the top.

With an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese, 1 egg, sugar and amaretto until it is  creamy (just a couple minutes).  Drizzle it over the peaches.

Then take the remaining 1 cup of crumb mixture, that you saved out earlier, and sprinkle it over the top of everything.  Return it to the 350 oven and bake for 30 minutes more until it’s slightly browned on top.  Delicious hot or cooled.

*If your retrieving the butter from the fridge (like me), pop it into the microwave for 8 to 10 seconds to soften to room temperature.
**I used amaretto because I have a big bottle on hand– keep it in place of almond extract because it’s about a tenth the price and lasts forever in the cupboard.  The original recipe called for vanilla.

Peaches, Tomato & Fresh Mozzarella Salad

Hi all– Isn’t August a great eating month??  The tomatoes are ripe and sweet– and peaches, my favorite fruit.  It seems like those peaches are only here for a few weeks ruddy and ripe.  So we’ve been eating both, in just about any form we can get them.

Made up this plate of tomatoes & Peaches with cheese when my siblings came in for Mom’s 86th birthday.  Along with a garlicky grilled tri-tip and a bright green salad and a hearty loaf of bread.  It was a real summer meal.

PEACHES, TOMATO & FRESH MOZZARELLA SALAD

Salad:
2 ripe peaches, pitted & sliced
2 cups ripe cherry tomatoes
2 or 3   4 oz. balls of fresh mozzarella
sprigs of fresh basil
serve with chunks of crusty bread on the side

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tab. tarragon vinegar
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp. honey

So simple.  Arrange the peaches, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil on a platter. Whisk together the dressing until well blended.

Pour dressing over it all when you’re ready to eat.  Lovely served with chunks of crusty bread to sop up the dressing.

Peach Crostata

Hello all–  When we first arrived in Wisconsin a couple weeks ago, our dear friends Jac & Jackie trekked down to Madison to meet up for dinner with us at our kids house. It was a sweet time catching up with them, and ended dinner with this fresh peach crostata.  Sweet summer peaches– they make any dessert a celebration!  After supper we walked and talked down along the lake in the coolness of the evening– so thankful for J & J.

PEACH CROSTATA

Crust:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold butter (1 stick), diced
3-5 tablespoons ice water
a couple more tab. of sugar

Peaches:
5 peaches, peeled, pitted, cut into slices
1 tab. flour
1 tab. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

To  make the crust use a food processor or a pastry blender (Or just 1 forks, if that is what you have on hand!), cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Mix in the ice water, starting with 3 tablespoons and adding more if needed until you have a ball of dough.

Wrap the dough ball in a piece of plastic wrap and set it into the fridge while you prepare the peaches.

Peel, pit and slice the peaches.  In a mixing bowl coat them with the tablespoon of flour, tablespoon of sugar and teaspoon of cinnamon.

Then take the dough from the fridge, roll it on a floured counter with a rolling pin until it makes a 11″-12″ circle.  Set the dough on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil or parchment paper.

Mound the peaches in the middle of the dough and then fold up the edges inward to hold in the peaches.  Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the turned up crust.

Put the crostata into a 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes– until the crust is nicely browned.  Serve it up hot, cut into wedges,  with a scoop of ice cream!  A fine summer dessert.

Peachy Tomato Salad with Honey Tarragon Dressing

 

Hi there– I’ve been reading some of my favorite bloggers talking about what’s coming out of their gardens this summer.  Fun to see your kale and summer squash and spicy peppers!  Our humble little garden (besides sprouting lots of weeds!) has produced tomatoes a plenty and nice healthy basil.

So tonight for dinner I wanted to use some of those tomatoes that are piling up in the kitchen!  And here’s the result.  Fresh and bright, colorful and so simple– fine for a summer supper.

PEACHY TOMATO SALAD WITH HONEY TARRAGON DRESSING

Salad:
4 ripe Roma tomatoes
1 large ripe peach
2 -3 tablespoons feta, crumbled
basil sprigs

Dressing:
3 tab. olive oil
2 tab. tarragon vinegar
1 tab. honey
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Cut the tomatoes into wedges and the peach in smallish chunks.  Spread them on a platter and crumble the feta over the top.  Sprinkle on the basil leaves.

For the dressing, combine the oil, vinegar, honey and salt & pepper in a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake it until the ingredients combine thoroughly.  Pour it over the salad when you are ready to serve it up.