Friday, July 15, 2011

love those peaches

My dad would have said of a Bellini, that someone just ruined a perfectly good glass of Prosecco. 

I had planned to make turnovers with these peaches and found myself wondering what my father would have thought.  He loved pies, pecan and cherry especially but when it came to peaches, he liked them just as they are.  Was I about to ruin them? 

My dad liked to peel and eat peaches leaning over the kitchen sink, knowing with each bite the peach was going to drip.  That's because our peaches were always ripe and juicy; they were South Carolina peaches! 

When I was a kid growing up just north of the South Carolina border, peaches weren't a big deal.  They were everywhere.  Those summers in the south weren't blazing hot like here in Dallas but they sure were sticky.  It was the season of fans and flyswatters, lightning bugs and mosquito bites, popsicles and...peaches. 

I remember a lot of backyard cookouts.  Sprinklers were turned on for we kids to play in as charcoal grills were set up.  Then someone would bring out an old ice cream machine and the men would take turns churning the cold cream.  Our moms peeled and sliced those small, fuzzy peaches which were added to the mix. 

They ruined perfectly good batches of ice cream. 

When you're seven or eight, even ten years old, you don't eat peach ice cream.  You just don't.

It took my breath away when I discovered South Carolina peaches at Georgia's Farmers Market last week.  I've frozen them in jars and made a few turnovers.  A third trip to Georgia's filled the dining table bowl again. 

It seemed a peachy idea to share them with friends so I've done that too.  Except one; one perfectly ripe, juicy, South Carolina peach.  I'm keeping that baby. 

I plan to peel and eat it leaning over the kitchen sink.

South Carolina Peach Pie Turnovers

2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons fine, Kosher salt
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup ice cold water
4 to 5 peaches, peeled and sliced
1 egg, beaten well
confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.

Sift together the flour and  salt.  Cut into it, the vegetable shortening.  When the mixture resembles small pebbles, stir in a little less than 1/2 cup of ice cold water and blend until the dough comes together, adding the rest of the water if needed. 

The dough will be a little sticky but with floured hands, form it into a patty shape.  Cut it into fourths and wrap each separately in plastic wrap and chill for about an hour. 

While the dough is chilling, peel four to five peaches and place them in a sieve over a bowl to drain. 

Remove each piece of dough, one at a time, and roll it out on a floured surface to the thickness of a pie crust.  The shape can be circular or square.  Place a large scoopful of peaches in the center and fold the dough over to make a triangle or a rectangle.  If it tears in any place, patch with a little extra dough cut from the rim. 

Secure the edges with the tines of a fork and very gently transfer to a baking sheet.  Brush with a beaten egg then cut three small slits along the top of the turnover which will allow steam to escape as it cooks. 

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool on the baking sheet before transferring to a plate. 

Serve warm, at room temperature or cold. 

{makes 4 turnovers}

1 comment:

  1. Friday night I put my turnover in the oven on my stone to warm and crisp it up a bit (I almost melted the crust walking around with it in my hands when you gave it to me) and added my Dad's homemade vanilla ice cream that was leftover from when my parents came to visit on the 4th of July. My kids were mad because "mommy wasn't making good choices and sharing" and my husband tried to steal a bite, but it was to no avail. I devoured it all and yes, I swiped my finger around the bowl to get every last morsel. I had no shame. It was delicious. Thank you so much!