Pickle a peck of peaches
Peaches are magic. If I could keep a perfect peach on my mantle as a shrine without it getting moldy, I would. All summer long I keep a peach-shrine of sorts, as in there’s always at least one fat orangey-yellow fruit on my kitchen counter at all times. But of course, with the end of summer comes the end of the peaches. That’s when I get pickling. Pickled peaches are sweet and sour (those of you who’ve read the book Holes may recall sploosh—I think this recipe is as close as you could get to trying it), and complement both sweet and savory recipes.
Start a batch of pickled peaches with sterilized mason jars. Peel, pit, and quarter 6 yellow peaches. You can use a vegetable peeler, but the best way to peel peaches without losing any flesh is to boil them for 30 seconds, submerge them in an ice bath, then rub off the skin with your fingers or a dish towel.
In a large saucepan, whisk together 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup water, ¾ cup apple cider vinegar, 3 cinnamon sticks, 3 tablespoons whole cloves, 1 tablespoon allspice berries, and 2 teaspoons pink or black peppercorns. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.
Toss in the sliced peaches and stir the mixture together. Cook for about 20 minutes, on until the peaches are tender.
Transfer the peaches into the jars with a slotted spoon, then cover with remaining pickling liquid, leaving about ½ inch of space from the rim. Firmly seal the lids on each jar, and allow to cool.
These pickled peaches should be stored in the fridge, and tightly sealed after each use. Every batch I make is gone within a week, so I’ve never had any spoilage concerns, but if you have more self control when it comes to eating pickled peaches, know that they should be finished within 2 months.
Spoon pickled peaches over toast with cream cheese or ricotta, a bowl of plain yogurt, porridge, or pancakes, or muddle them into a cocktail along with a bit of their syrup.