When a peach is not enough…

August 4, 2015

Funny, how it baked up with a missing piece...

Funny, how it baked up with a missing piece…

Make a peach kuchen. Just don’t leave it in the oven as long as I did. And use a different pan.

I was casting about for what to do with my remaining Bader Farms peaches, and the alternatives like canning or freezing them sounded like entirely too much work. So I made a peach kuchen. And I may make another one or two before these peaches run out.

A kuchen, I learned when I ran across the recipe and decided to make one, consists of a crust that’s something between a pie crust and shortbread crust; sliced fruit (peaches, in this case), and a custard. OK, I can handle that.

So, looking at the crust recipe, and having already occupied my mixer bowl with bread dough, I opted to make the crust in the food processor. In went:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut in pieces
  • 3 tbsp sour cream

except I subbed Greek yogurt, because I had it and it needed to be used, and I was about out of sour cream. And I decided I wanted that crust to be a bit sweet, so I added a couple of tablespoonsful of honey.

Peaches and custard, pre-baking.

Peaches and custard, pre-baking.

Press the crust, it says, into the bottom of a springform pan and partway up the sides. Which I did, but I will use a pie plate in the future, for reasons which will become clear shortly. It bakes for 15 minutes at 475, and comes out to cool while the temp is lowered to 350.

Then you peel, pit and slice a pound and a half of peaches, which came to about four decent sized peaches. Then you make your custard, to wit, three egg yolks, a cup of sugar, 1/3 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup flour. Again, I subbed Greek yogurt. (It’s also less calories, and it’s good for you.) When I do it again, I’ll add some amaretto, just because I love the taste of almond liqueur with peaches. Whisk all that up, and put 1/2 cup of it directly on to your now-somewhat-cooled crust. Spread it around, and commence to add peaches.

I arranged mine in nice little overlapping circles, starting at the outside. Had a bit more than a single layer’s worth; I wedged the others in spots that looked like they could use another piece of peach. Then you pour the rest of the custard on top.

Here I ran into the bugaboo of the sprinform pan. The custard is thin. Either I didn’t press the crust out thin enough, or mine is larger than a nine-inch pan, because my crust didn’t extend very far up the side. Consequently, custard leaked out, cooked over into the bottom of my oven and crusted on the lip of my pan, and didn’t leave as much custard atop the peaches as I would like. I think this can be remedied by using a deep dish pie pan.

The recipe says to bake it an hour at 350. I baked it 45 minutes and looked at it, and snatched it out, determining it had gone farther than I wanted it to.  The flavor, however, is excellent. The tart sweetness of the peaches against the creamy sweetness of the custard, which would be much improved with a bit of amaretto, atop the crunchy, just-barely-sweet crust is REALLY good. It would also be improved by a spoonful of creme fraiche or whipped cream on top.

I think this would be good with any number of other semi-firm fruits, like blackberries or raspberries or cherries or Bosc pears. But it’s Sweet Baby Jesus good with peaches.

You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em try it.

 

 

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