Being in the sub-tropics, the local stone-fruit farm in Bangalow has only a small season of production from October to November, but you really have to get there to take advantage of the wonderful peaches and nectarines that are ripe and luscious for those few precious weeks.
I have been picking up cases of speck fruit (slightly damaged) for $4. You just need the time (and jars) to then turn them into something delicious that will last for the whole year – the alchemy of cooking! It is worth just the drive home with the smell of ripe peaches in the car. Jars of jam and chutney also make fabulous Christmas gifts.
2 red onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely crushed
4 cm fresh ginger, finely grated
4 sticks lemon grass, white part only, finely sliced
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 kg peaches, chopped
2 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
Cook the whole lot up for 30-40 mins until slightly thickened and syrupy. Put in pre-washed an heated jars. Seal when cool. Great with Christmas turkey, ham and cheese.
Peach and Rhubarb (optional) Jam
(I add the rhubarb to take the edge of the sweetness and help set the jam a bit better – but you can leave it out)
2 kilos stoned and chopped peaches
1/2 kilo rhubarb, chopped
Barely cover the fruit with water.
Measure how many cups of fruit pulp you have because you will need the same in sugar.
Bring the fruit to the boil and simmer for 30 mins.
Add the warmed (if you are making this in winter) measured sugar.
Bring to the boil and simmer until a skin begins to form around the edge of the pan (or when it gels when dropped onto the back of a cold saucer – the way my mother used to do it).
Put in washed and sterile jars and seal when cool.
Peach Ice Cream
6 eggs beaten
3 1/2 cups white sugar
10 fresh peaches, pureed
4 cups heavy cream
2 cups yoghurt or light cream
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbs lemon juice
3/4 tsp salt
Have all ingredients very cold.
Mix eggs and sugar in bowl until creamy
Add pureed peaches to sugar/egg mixture
Stir in all other ingredients and put in ice-cream maker until churned
This is so yummy. Fresh and slightly tangy. Will keep in the freezer for up to three weeks.