For a few short weeks each summer, peaches are at their best. A summertime peach is better than a peach any other time of the year. Juicy, ripe and flavorful, they are a treat that Southerners look forward to every year.
Kat Gordon, the owner of Muddy’s Bake Shop, loves peaches.
“I don’t like to play favorites, but peaches are definitely one of my favorite fruits,” she explained while starting to prepare the 500 pounds (Yes! You read that correctly!) of peaches she bought from The Peach Truck this year.
Over the course of a few days, she and her team transformed all those peaches into 35 crisps and 115 pies. The crisps sold out within a day, but the pies should be available through the end of July.
When using peaches for baking, Gordon recommends using the ripest peaches you can find.
“Ripe peaches have the best flavor,” she explained. “When the peaches are cooked down, the flavor is concentrated so you want to make sure you start with best tasting peaches you can find.”
When using peaches in pies, she also points out that it’s okay if the fruit is slightly bruised or blemished.
“It doesn’t have to be perfect,” she advised. “Also, don’t worry about perfectly segmented peach slices either. That’s the beauty of a pie - it all just comes together.”
And here is a tip that may surprise you! Gordon no longer peels her peaches that she uses in pies.
“We did a side by side blind tasting of pies made with peeled and unpeeled peaches,” she explained. “The unpeeled peach pie won hands down. Everyone agreed it just tasted peachier.”
She found it is a win-win for everyone. The pies taste better, there is less work to do and she cuts down on food waste.
She does recommend cleaning the peaches well before. And if you have some peaches that are extra fuzzy, you may want to peel those.
When making filling for peach pies, Gordon’s recipe is fairly simple, letting the fruit take center stage.
She simply tosses the cut peaches with honey to taste and lets the filling sit overnight. “You get a benefit of a pre-cook without having to put it on a stove top to cook.”
To keep the pie crusts from getting soggy, she uses a slotted spoon to place the filling into the pie shell. “That way you get some, but not all, of the juices,” she added.