The cool breeze pulls my eyes open a little wider with each step through the long rows of heavy-loaded peach trees. My shoes dampen with the dew and the overgrown grass tickles my ankles.
As I walk, I hear little else but the songs of the morning sparrows, putting me at ease and drawing my attention to my beautiful surroundings. In the distance, faint giggles of a boy and a girl can be heard as they chase each other through the orchard. I look up and catch a quick glance at their faces. They are shimmering from laughter and the sweet, sticky juice that reveals the secret to their energy. These kids make me smile.
As I pluck my first peach from its resting place, I too feel like a giddy kid again. I jump as a beetle emerges from a nearby spot on the tree, but my mind is quickly onto the next thing with an immediate dive into my first bite. The juice explodes in my mouth, and on this Saturday morning, I feel content.
There’s something special about fruit straight from the tree. The longer I live in the city, the more I come to realize this. A supermarket peach, a Whole Foods peach, even a farmer’s market peach, will never be as sweet as the crimson-colored one you pick yourself from the tree. If you’ve never made this experience, I highly recommend you do so at some point in your life.
On this particular outing, I left with two wooden baskets full of peaches, ripening further by the minute. About 25 of them went into a pot, spiced with cinnamon, vanilla, brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Once simmered down, this warm sauce spooned over ice cream serves as a flawless explanation of why I am so in love with summer. Simple perfection.
This recipe is loose, so adjust the cinnamon and sugar to your liking. The opportunities to use this sauce are endless. Ice cream, yogurt, pancakes, oatmeal, fruit salad & granola, or even lightly spooned over fish tacos are just a few ideas to get you started. I’d love to hear what you do with this summer special. Also, this makes a decent sized batch, with the intention of freezing or canning a portion. Feel free to cut the recipe in half, share with others, or freeze some, too.
- -3 Tbsp. butter
- -25 medium-sized peaches, skins removed and diced
- -1 1/3 cup brown sugar, or to taste
- -1/4 - 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- -2 Tbsp. cinnamon
- -1 -2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- Melt butter in large saucepan. Add remaining ingredients.
- Simmer, uncovered, until mixture thickens to desired consistency, about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking to bottom of pan.
- Remove from heat. Serve over ice cream with a sprig of basil, or item of choice.