It’s one of those things I do at the end of every summer. I never put it on the calendar, I don’t have to. I remember instantly on the day I first notice that the season’s peaches have reached their prime. Suddenly I miss my Grandma and Grandad and I start tasting Gram’s Frozen Peaches. I lost my wonderful and amazing grandfather when he went to heaven eight years and four days ago. But Grandma still makes frozen peaches–and saves them up in the freezer just in case. She lives in the state of Georgia, the nation’s peach capital, where peaches are at their best. And she knows what to do with them.
The recipe is simple and the ingredients so basic that many will doubt me when I tell you it’s amazing. It’s quite similar to a granita, really, and the perfect summer dessert. It also makes a completely lovely brunch dish, served in little glass bowls with demitasse spoons.
Last week I noticed the price of peaches dropping and their color and softness increasing. This week, I made Grandma’s peaches. I bought my peaches at the french market on a Wednesday morning. They really should be perfectly ripe for things to work properly–wait until they are.
small plastic tupperware containers (or quart-sized ziplock bags in a pinch)
about three large, ripe peaches per container
Make simple syrup. Grandma’s recipe called for 2 1/2 cups of sugar for every 2 c. of water, but I don’t think any of us actually do this. I do two parts water to one part sugar–for three or four containers of peaches I dissolve a cup of sugar into two cups water. You can boil the water, stir in the sugar, and then chill the syrup or just stir the sugar into cold water and give it time to dissolve.
Get a pot of water boiling on the stove and score the bottom of each peach with an “X”. Blanch peaches in the boiling water for about 30 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon. The skin should slip right off if you peel from the X. Cut the blanched peaches off the seed and slice. (If the seeds are crumbly be sure and scrape out the hollows so you don’t have sandy frozen peaches from pit bits.)
Pile peach slices in each container and cover with the simple syrup. Seal and freeze.
About an hour before serving, remove from freezer to thaw. When peaches are still mostly icy but you can break into them with a spoon, serve in small bowls. If it’s a really hot day, you can even frost the bowls in the freezer first. Give everyone a little spoon and enjoy!
We surely do.