Friday, February 24, 2012

Peaches by the bucket load!

When I went to the green grocer this week I purchased a bucket of peaches. My green grocer sells some fruit and vegetables by the bucket load. Generally the fruit that comes in buckets is smaller in size then some of the other fruit that they sell and may have a blemish here or there. It is generally of superior quality to anything that comes from a supermarket though.

So I came home, bucket load of peaches in hand knowing that I had a number of recipes to use the fruit in, one planned in my weekly meal plan and others to think about. Tonight, I finally got around to using the peaches. I decided to include some in my main meal and use some in a dessert recipe that I was wanting to try.

The main meal worked really well - I did an adaptation of the Grilled Peach, Mozarella and Breseola Salad in the February edition of delicious magazine. The salad was a little on the light side for a main so I added some roasted carrot, pumpkin and asapragus to the mix and some toasted pine nuts. I also changed the rocket to baby spinach as I often find rocket a little overpowering. Finally I wasn't able to get breseola so I used prosciutto and put it in the oven with the vegies to roast until crisp. The salad was very nice, the crisp crunch of the prosciutto contrasted beautifully with the creamy fresh mozarella, the the sweet flavour of the grilled peach, roast carrot and pumpkin worked well to complement the saltiness of the prosciutto and the richness of the mozarella. Overall a very nice dish that I would be happy to make and eat again. I can see it working well on a big platter for a casual late Sunday lunch. Maybe with some freshly baked bread.

The second dish that I made was a dessert, Peach Queen of Puddings from the February edition of Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine. I don't often make recipes from Australian Gourmet Traveller, despite that I buy the magazine each month (for PD purposes) as often the recipes are those which I deem to be more appropriate for special occasions. This pudding recipe didn't require anything unusual or expensive so I thought I would give it a go. Everything was ready to go in the pantry and fridge as I had purchased the bucket load of peaches.

I followed the recipe exactly as written - no Shepherd variations. And... I was disappointed. The bread and custard component of the pudding is very nice, as are the peaches, although I would happily take the lemon rind out of the custard - it was a little overpowering. I was really disappointed with the jam and meringue layers! I used my favourite St Dalflour raspberry jam, with no added cane sugar and for some reason it was hideously sweet in this pudding. I love this jam on my crumpets at breakfast and usually don't find it too sweet at all! This pudding shouldn't have been hideously sweet because there was a total of 80g of sugar in the recipe overall and I used a sourdough light rye for the bread crumbs which always tends to be a little bit tart for want of a better word.

The meringue was also very sweet and rather marshmallowy. I like meringue that is crispy on the outside (a bit like pavlova) and this meringue just disappointed me. Overall the pudding is very ordinary. I wonder what it would be like made on cream instead of skim milk and made with a pavlova like meringue recipe - would it change it? Would I achieve my desired crisp exterior on the meringue?? What would happen if I put in fresh or frozen raspberries instead of jam?

All I can say is that I still have five serves left of this pudding and a number of them might be going in the bin. I really don't like food waste but I'm not confident that I can eat this pudding that many times.

So I still have plenty of peaches left - I think I am going to try a pistachio crusted pork recipe and perhaps a peach cobbler or poached peach in lemon grass and lime syrup next. Here's hoping these desserts are better than the Peach Queen of Puddings!

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