I love focaccia, but have never made it myself. When I heard of sweet focaccia, I decided I had to try it myself. It’s a thin, sweet focaccia topped with fruit. Currently fresh in my yard are peaches and apples. So, I made a ginger peach and a cinnamon apple focaccia.
For the bread itself, I used the sweet focaccia recipe from the cookbook Focaccia by Carol Field.
For the apple topping:
4 cups chopped apples per 12″ focaccia round
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp olive oil (enough to brush the edges of the bread)
To assemble – spread apples over dough. Be sure to drizzle any remaining liquid over the apples. After you pull it from the oven, brush edges of bread with olive oil.
For the peach topping:
1 C sliced peaches per 12″ focaccia round
a sprinkle of nutmeg
a sprinkle of ginger
1/8 – 1/4 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of your peaches)
2 tablespoons olive oil
To assemble – brush olive oil over dough. Place peaches in a spiral on dough. Sprinkle nutmeg, ginger, and sugar over top. Once you pull the bread from the oven, brush olive oil over edges of bread.
Happy Thursday! For my first Thankful Thursday, I want to express my gratitude for the food growers of the country. They’re passionate about what they do, they don’t get nearly enough love and they work harder than most of us could ever imagine. Please, go to your farmers market or your local farm, and thank a grower.
I’m completely spoiled. I live just outside California’s Central Valley, so I have the opportunity to eat local and have a relationship with growers in the area. I try to hit the farmer’s markets as often as I can, I try to visit local farms in the area, and, lucky for us, Fresno State has an amazing farm on campus with a fantastic farm store.
During the long, fruitless winter months, I long for summer produce. It doesn’t matter what the calendar says, summer starts when cherries are in season. From there, I look forward to tomatoes and corn (Fresno State grows the best. It’s not organic, but it is GMO-free). Then summer squash and peppers. I know the end of summer is near with the Fay Elberta peach crop. They signal the beginning of peach season, and my favourite time of year. Around the beginning of August, the Fay Elbertas are available. They’re only around for about a week, and they can be hard to find, but, they are the best peaches on the planet. If you can find some, it’s worth the hunt. Once peach season begins, I have about 6 weeks to gorge myself on locally grown peaches. So far this season, I’ve had 6 different varieties (and still, there are more to be had!). I eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and dessert. One of my favourite desserts is pandowdy. Mostly because halfway through baking, I get to smash the crust into the pie.
Tonight, instead of the traditional pie-shaped pandowdy, I made a 9×11 massive pandowdy.
Summer Peach Pandowdy (adapted from my peach pie filling recipe)
4 lbs peaches
3Tbl tapioca starch
1/3 C sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
a shake of nutmeg
Your favourite pie crust (I can’t lie, I was too lazy to make my own tonight. I used a frozen one)
Mix filling ingredients and add to pan. Lay your crust over the filling and bake at 425 for about 20 minutes. Pull the pan out of the oven and turn the oven down to 350. Slice the crust into 1 inch diamonds (like baklava!). Take a spoon and smash (gently) the diamonds into the filling.
Return it to the oven and bake at 350 for 28 minutes.
So, after pickling all those peaches last week, you’ve still got a tree full of peaches. What do you do?
Make pie, of course!
This filling is great for pies, or, if you’re feeling too lazy to make a pie crust, make a crumble.
1 quart is perfect for 1 pie or crumble/crisp
You’ll need (per quart):
3/4C brown sugar
1/4C lemon juice
2T tapioca pearls (not quick-cooking, because you’re canning it for later use, regular is just fine)
shake of salt
Combine ingredients. Pour into prepared quart jars. Process 15 minutes.
Sorry for the very long delay in getting this awesome peaches post to you! Trust me, it’s worth the wait.
Our peach tree doesn’t always produce peaches. When it does, there aren’t very many of them, they’re usually not tasty, and are mostly pit. One year, we got peaches the size of softballs. It was awesome, but, it hasn’t happened in about 10 years. So, this year, we were shocked to see peaches growing everywhere on this thing. Seriously, everywhere. A huge branch broke off the tree because there were so many on it. And they taste amazing – perfectly sweet, great texture. All-in-all, great peaches. Oh, and they’re about the size of apricots. Tiny. Two or three bites tiny. Perfect for lunch boxes (If you’re going to pack six…), perfect for on-the-go, and perfect for pickles.
Never had a pickled peach? They’re great on bundt cake, ice cream, cheesecake, oatmeal, cereal, or straight out of the jar.
They’re a lot of work. Especially when you’ve got peaches as small as mine – it took 30 peaches to fill three and a half 8oz jars. Woah. That’s a lot of peeling for very few pickles. Is it worth it? I think so. But, not all the time. Maybe even not every year. It’s a great once-in-a-while treat to put together on a weekend day you want to spend in the kitchen.
You’re going to need:
6 pint jars (or 12 half pint, aka jelly, aka 8oz, jars)
For the syrup:
3 cinnamon sticks
6-8 whole cloves
a knob of fresh ginger, sliced into a few rounds
3 1/3 C apple cider vinegar (while I’m a big fan of raw ACV everywhere else, don’t use it when canning)
5 C sugar
For the peaches:
1lb of peaches/pint – so, for this recipe, you’re going to use about 6lbs – ideally, you’re going to use small peaches, but, I know they’re really hard to find. If you can’t find them, no big deal, just get what you can
enough water to cover the peaches (about 8 cups) – and squeeze the juice of one lemon into it
Throw your spices into a reusable tea bag (large), cheesecloth pouch, or big tea diffuser. Bring spices, sugar, and ACV to a boil in a large pot (you’re going to have to fit all your peaches into it later) Turn off heat, let sit while you process the peaches.
Peel and halve each peach (if you’re using big peaches, quarter them) and put them in the lemon water.
Once you’re finished with the peaches, bring your syrup back to a boil and add the peaches. Return to a boil, and turn off heat.
Add peaches to prepared pint jars, leaving about an inch of head-space. Top with syrup, leaving a half inch head-space.
Once jars are full, process for 20 minutes. Once done, turn off heat and let jars sit 5 minutes. Place them on cooling rack and let sit 24 hours. As always, refrigerate any jars that don’t seal.