To me peaches are the quintessential summer fruit. Their ripeness signals the height of summer produce. And I don’t know anyone who can resist the soft bite followed by dribbling juice. Truly the nectar of the Gods.
We have a miniature peach tree in our backyard. It is miniature in size but the size of the fruit is the same of regular peaches and perhaps even more appreciated since it’s ours. The tree does not fruit every year. I’m not completely clear about the rhyme or reason of the fruiting. It may be due to late frosts that burn the buds.
A note about ‘freestone’ peaches. Heard that term? Peaches are either ‘freestone’ or ‘clingstone’ (and there is a hybrid of both called semi-freestone). From the name you can guess that freestone are the peach varieties whose pit comes out effortlessly. The peaches I used are of the clingstone variety. I purchased them due to being Colorado-local not concerning myself about the pit. Either can be used for this recipe though freestone makes the preparation easier and quicker.
This year sadly we are getting a bit of help from a pesky squirrel who I noted crawls nimbly out onto the branches, gnaws away at the tops of the peaches, leaving them half naked, violated and hanging for birds to finish the job. Or for our dogs. Our two black Labrador Retrievers have been spotted circling under the tree, combing the weeds for fallen fruit which they happily gobble up pit and all. Everyone loves peaches.
In my Grandmother’s recipe box I found this beautiful coffee cake recipe using fresh peaches (one can also substitute nectarines). It bears all the traditional attributes of a coffee cake but is made the more seasonally flavorful with use of fresh peaches and sour cream. It is a delicious addition for weekend brunch and any leftovers are devoured for dessert in my house!