I have a love/hate relationship with peaches. I L.O.V.E. fresh peaches. They are one of the summer’s little treasures that you have to search out. Those picked too early never get the sweetness that you desire, and those picked too late, well read on because there is a problem. Peaches ripen in a nano-second and then quickly begin to lose freshness, flavor, and juiciness. If all of your peaches hit peak ripeness on the same day, you have to devour the entire basket within 24 hours. Or you run the risk of taking a single bite and then tossing in the trash because it is too far gone. And do not get me started on canned or jarred peaches in syrup. Are they even the same fruit?
Peaches are in Season, Yay!
So a few weeks ago I bought some huge beautiful Georgia peaches at Costco. They were the first of the season from the southeast (which is the only time I buy them). They were plump and just soft to the touch. The box seemed to have a mix of ripe to just on the edge of ripeness. I got them home and bit into the first one, and it is heaven. Sweet sticky juice runs down both side of my mouth. Over the next few days, I eat the entire box of twelve and could not be happier.
Last week I made a new trip to Costco, and this time the peaches were from South Carolina. So I looked for the perfect box and hoped I could repeat my success like before. Again the first one was great, and I was very happy. But my day three a couple had gone too far and went right in the trash. On the morning of day four, I could see a few had started to shrivel. I needed to do something fast. Peach Compote was the answer, and it turned out beautifully.
Side Note: South Carolina grows and exports more peaches than Georgia, yet they are “The Peach State.”
Delectable Peach Compote
6-7 medium peaches, pitted, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons Palm Sugar (or substitute light brown sugar)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 or 2 Star Anise pods
3 tablespoons water
Pinch of kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cut each peach in half. Remove the pit and then carefully remove the skin with a paring knife.
Cut each half in half again and then rough chop into bite-size pieces.
Place all the ingredients into a Dutch oven, set over medium-high heat.
Stirring frequently, bring to a gentle boil. Once bubbling, continue cooking for about 10 minutes. If the sauce has not thickened to your liking, you can remove the peaches with a strainer spoon leaving only the sauce in the pan. Then boil the sauce until it reaches your desired thickness. As it cools the sauce may thicken a bit more. Remove the Star Anise pod before serving.
Note about serving:
You get the most flavor if the compote is served slightly warmed. When served on ice cream that is not practical or the ice cream will melt way too fast.
Served plain with a new anise pod as garnish.
For breakfast or brunch with Swedish Pancakes
On ice cream for a delectable dessert.
Printable Downloadable PDF Here: Delectable Peach Compote
And here is my Peach Galette recipe from last summer.
Well, that is all for now.