I've been up to my elbows in peaches recently. I've picked up several pounds both this week and last week. I recently shared my recipe for Peach Cobbler with Sugar Crackle Topping. So good! And, I just made some peach and poppy seed scones that were absolutely scrumptious. Yesterday, I made up a batch of my peach compote.
It is super similar to a chunky peach jam, but contains no added pectin so it doesn't quite have the same consistency. The uses for this compote are almost endless. Even though it isn't necessary a jam or jelly, it is still divine spread on toast or fresh biscuits. It can, also, be poured warm or cooled over vanilla ice cream. It's fabulous served over grilled pork chops. And, we love it dolloped on thick, vanilla yogurt. P.S. Add some into a blender with a few scoops of vanilla ice cream and a little milk for one heck of a milkshake.
In the past, I've even served this compote with a cheese and cracker tray. Spread a little soft cheese onto a crispy cracker and spoon on some of this compote. Heavenly.
TIP: You can amp up this compote with a variety of spices if desired. Cinnamon, ginger and/or nutmeg would bring a little warmth to the party. The caviar from a vanilla bean can be substituted for the vanilla extract. Even something unexpected like, some freshly-cracked black pepper or crushed red pepper flakes can add something super unique ... and would be great if using the compote over grilled meat or with crackers.
This can be frozen in an air-tight container for a few months or will keep well in the fridge for a week or so.
12 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into a small dice
Juice of a lemon
Pinch of salt (optional)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon good-quality vanilla extract
Add diced peaches to a large sauté pan set over medium heat. Add in the lemon juice, salt and sugar. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer (uncovered) for about thirty minutes - stirring occasionally. Use a potato masher to mash peaches to desired consistency. If you prefer a chunkier compote, do very little mashing. For a smoother compote, mash peaches almost completely.
Allow to simmer another 10 minutes after mashing as it continues to thicken, then remove pan from heat. Stir in vanilla and allow mixture to cool completely.
Store in glass jars or air-tight containers until ready to use.
PEACH PEELING TIP: I usually peel my peaches as they are. However, if you find the task too tedious, the peaches can be submerged into a pot of boiling water for 40 - 60 seconds, then removed and allowed to slightly cool. This helps the peel to come off easily without a lot of knife work.