Susan S. Yeske: Dining In - Recipe of the Week

Local peaches are at their peak



Yellow and white peaches and nectarines are in season at Manoff Market Gardens in Solebury, which will hold one of this weekend’s local peach festivals.

Peaches, the most aromatic of fruits, are at the peak of their season locally, which is cause for three celebrations this weekend.

Manoff Market Gardens in Solebury will hold its annual Peach Festival, complete with hand-cranked peach ice cream and grilled peaches, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the farm on Comfort Road.

There will be wagon rides through the orchards, fun activities, and if conditions are perfect, it will be the one day of the year for pick-your-own peaches.

On the same day, a Peach Festival is planned for Trinity Lutheran Church in Perkasie. From 5 to 9 p.m. there will be peach desserts, games, face painting, raffles, live music and food.

Peddler’s Village in Lahaska will reprise its annual two-day Peach Festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. There will be pie-eating contests, peach treats, children’s activities, live music and artisan displays.

Locally grown peaches will be for sale from Bechdolt Orchard in Hellerstown, and peach baked goods will be available at Lucky Cupcake Company’s Village Bakery.

Peddler’s Village pairs its peach festival with its summertime sidewalk sale, which will be held at stores throughout the village.

This has been a great year for peaches according to Gary Manoff, who owns Manoff Market Gardens with his wife, Amy. Both peaches and nectarines are plentiful and in high quality.

Early peaches are clingstone, which means the fruit clings to the pit. At this time of year peaches are freestone, which makes them easy to peel and slice when cooking, baking, freezing them and making jam.

High in potassium and vitamin C, peaches are great for pies, cobblers and crisps such as this recipe from epicurious.com. It calls for blackberries, which also are in season locally.

Peach and Blackberry Crisp
1½ pounds peaches (about 3), pitted and cut into ½-inch-thick wedges
2 cups blackberries, picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
¾ cup coarsely chopped lightly toasted pecans
peach and brown sugar ice cream or vanilla cream as an accompaniment

In a large bowl toss the peaches and the blackberries gently with the cornstarch, the lemon juice, and the granulated sugar until the mixture is combined well. Set aside.

In a small bowl stir together the flour, the brown sugar, the oats, the salt, the cinnamon, and the nutmeg, add the butter, blending the mixture until it resembles coarse meal, and stir in the pecans. Spread the peach mixture in a 13-by-9-inch (3-quart) baking dish, sprinkle the pecan mixture evenly over it, and bake the crisp in the middle of a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top is golden. Serve the crisp with the ice cream.

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