Fresh Peach Base

Millions of peaches.  Peaches for me.  Millions of peaches.  Peaches for free.  Okay, maybe not for free.  If you were alive in 1995 and listened to Top 40 radio at all you know EXACTLY what song I’m referencing and why it pops into my head every year about this time.  Yes, I do realize it’s now stuck in your head too.  Sorry ’bout that.

It’s not like we have a peach tree that actually produces anything in numbers that would require me to get creative with peaches.  I just always always buy WAY too many peaches the second they hit the stands.  I think it’s the feeling that this is it – the last hurrah of summer.  And that can’t be wasted.

These are my beauties this week.  They’re from local farms.  Smallish and fuzzier than the ones that are shipped in from I’m not really sure where –  and they are so good.  And buying them makes me feel like a good, responsible locavore (even though I am totally not, not yet, anyway).   So what to do with all these peaches?  Pie/crumble/crisp/cobbler?  Coffee Cake?  We’ve done a lot of that this summer.  Then I remembered all the coupons I have sitting in my purse for free Peach Milkshakes at Chik Fil A.  We got a ton of them at Relay for Life last July.  And have I used any of them?  Of course not.

But why drive to Chik Fil A when I can just make a fresh peach base at home and freeze it to use this winter?  What a lovely quick bread that would make… ohh, I’m just beginning to brainstorm the possibilities for this sweet, concentrated peach puree.  So let’s get started shall we?

Start by peeling, pitting, and quartering a bunch of peaches,  Keep going until you get about 5 cups.

That should do it.  This is my nine cup food processor so I just filled it a little over half full.

Add in a half cup of sugar…

…a tablespoon of lemon juice…

…a half teaspoon of vanilla extract (most are gluten free but check if this applies to you)…

…and a quarter teaspoon almond extract.  Imitation.  Cringe.  That’s all they had that day!  Alright, I’m done.

And puree it until all the little lumps are gone.  You could use a blender for this if you didn’t have a food processor.  I just got this little lady for Christmas last year.  I don’t know how I ever survived without it.

Now what we have is sweetened, pureed peaches.  But the water content is pretty high.  We’re gonna fix that without adding any thickeners here on the stove.  Pour your puree into a medium size pot and set it on Med High heat.  Bring the peaches up to a boil, turn down the heat, and let it simmer for a good 20 minutes at least.  You want to reduce it down by half, getting all that unnecessary water content out of there.

About 2 1/4 cups.  Perfect! Now, most of this is going in the freezer for use over the winter.  It will keep there for eight months.  Like it will last that long.  But for tonight, it’s going in a milkshake.

Just take half a cup of your peach puree, about 1 2/3 cup vanilla ice cream, and a quarter cup of milk and blend it up.

I LOVE my immersion blender for milkshakes.  I hate getting the entire blender dirty just for a milkshake.  Actually, I think I just hate my blender.  It all makes sense now.

And there we have it!  A perfectly balanced Peach Milkshake.  Now, if you wanted to get crazy you could TOTALLY add some booze in here.  Rum would be good.  (Making sure it’s gluten free of course if you are doing this GF).

Fresh Peach Base

5 cups peaches, pitted, peeled, and quartered

1/2 cup sugar

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

Pit, peel, and quarter peaches and put in food processor.  Add sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extract and puree until completely smooth.

Transfer to a medium sized sauce pot over Med-High heat and bring to a boil.  Turn down heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes, until reduced by half (about 2 1/4 cups).  Refrigerate or freeze.

Makes 2 1/4 cups.

Peach Milkshake

1/2 cup peach base

1 2/3 cup vanilla ice cream (less if you like your shake thinner)

1/4 cup milk

whipped cream for topping

Blend first three ingredients and top with whipped cream if desired.  Serve immediately.

Makes one 16oz milkshake.


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Filed under Homemade Ingredients, Sauces, Condiments, Dips etc.

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