Peach Season at PlacerGROWN and Foothill Farmers’ Market
Peaches are some of the most highly anticipated fruits at our region’s farmers’ markets. For months, shoppers are combing the stalls, hoping for a chance to buy this luscious fruit. Thankfully, the wait is over! In Northern California, they're in season from May to September, so now’s the time to try the peachy-keen fruit.
SELECTION AND STORAGE // Choose peaches with a rich color that may still have a slight whitish “bloom” on their surface, which indicates freshness. Avoid fruit with excessive softness, surface cuts and bruises. A ripe peach will have a gentle give when touched and a sweet aroma. Peaches can be kept in the refrigerator, but should be brought to room temperature before eating. As with apples, sliced peaches will turn brown after cutting; lessen this by rinsing the slices in water mixed with lemon juice. White-fleshed peaches are sweeter and less acidic than their more traditional golden counterpart.
DID YOU KNOW? // The peach originated in China and began to travel the world through trade routes—eventually coming to Florida in the 1600s. California’s climate, particularly the Sierra foothills, is ideal for the juicy fruit; allowed to ripen on the tree, they gain maximum sugar content. Peaches picked too soon and kept in cold storage will soften and get juicier, but will only have the amount of sugar they had when picked, which is one of the main reasons they sell so quickly at markets. The Golden State produces 50 percent of the nation’s peaches. Varieties can either be clingstone, where the fruit clings to the stone, or freestone, where the flesh readily twists away from the pit. Clingstone is generally used for canning, but both types are available with white or golden flesh. Nectarines are a variety of peach with a smooth skin—not a cross between a peach and a plum.
By Carol Arnold // photo courtesy of Bella Karragiannidis, ful-filled.com
- Recipe by Bella Karragiannidis, ful-filled.com
- 1 1/2 cups (255g) gluten-free or all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, diced and softened
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. peach jam
- 3-4 white peaches, ripe but still firm and sliced into wedges (8 slices per peach)
- 1 tbsp. powdered sugar, for garnish
FOR THE CRUST:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees Fahrenheit. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; pulse to combine. Add softened butter; pulse to combine. Add egg and egg yolk; process until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead just until it comes together. Evenly press dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 10.5-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom.
FOR THE FILLING:
Spread 1/2 cup peach jam on top of dough and then lay the peach slices atop the jam filled crust in concentric circles. Bake the tart for 20 minutes; remove from oven and brush peaches with remaining 2 tbsp. of jam. Return tart to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes. Lightly dust tart with powdered sugar and leave to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.