How to Peel a Ripe Peach for Salads, Pies & Cobblers

How to Peel a Ripe Peach for Salads, Pies & Cobblers

Peaches are in season and now you want to use this delicious, juicy, fresh fruit in Auntie Adeline’s favourite cobbler recipe. But how to remove that fuzzy skin? You certainly don’t want to mangle that delicate fruit or have it discolour. Well, here’s how to peel and pit those wonderful peaches with ease:

How to Peel Peaches

1. To remove the fuzzy skin from peaches with ease, blanch them first. Bring a large saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Cut a shallow X on the blossom end of each peach. Working in batches, immerse the peaches in the boiling water for 30 seconds.

2. Using a slotted spoon, immediately place them in an ice water bath to cool the peaches and stop the cooking process.

3.  When the peaches are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins using your fingertips or a small, sharp knife. If stubborn areas of skin won’t peel off, just return fruit to the boiling water for a few more seconds.

How to Pit Peaches

1. Cut the peach in half, cutting around the pit and using the indentation as a guide.

2. Twist halves in opposite directions to separate. Using a sharp knife, loosen and remove pit. Treat cut surfaces with lemon juice to avoid discoloration.

And then there’s this (Dear Auntie Adeline, please avert your eyes)…

This Day in History: The Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments

This Day in History: The Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments

The year was 2006. Diet Coke and Mentos Geysers were all the rage and these two “scientists” have turned it into a wonderful, if not a sticky, ballet of gushers, liquid arches and artful spurts. The internets are full of explanations for the science behind the phenomena but you can google it if that’s your thing — we just appreciate the superb goofiness of the video.

How to Prepare Turkish Coffee

How to Prepare Turkish Coffee

You’ll need an ibrik (also known as a cezve), coffee, water, a heat source, and a little sugar and ground cardamom.

1. Grind the coffee to a very fine grind. Use the finest setting on your grinder (finer than espresso) so the grinds end up something like dusty cocoa powder.

2. Add your coffee and water to the ibrik (use a small saucepan if you don’t yet have an ibrik). Combine the coffee and cold water at a ratio of about 2.5 grams of coffee per ounce of water. As an example, for a 10-ounce ibrik, use 20 grams of coffee and 8 ounces of water (you may adjust the ratio if you like a stronger coffee) Don’t fill the ibrik to the top or it will boil it over.

3. Stir in a teaspoon or more of sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of cardamom

an ibrik, Turkish coffee pot held over a gas flame4. Slowly heat the coffee. For best results start with cold water over a medium-low flame and heat the coffee up to near-boiling.

5. Take it off the heat! You’ll soon find as you practice your ibrik brewing that it is all about taking it off the heat before the ibrik boils over. Remove the ibrik from heat and allow it to cool down for about twenty seconds.

6. Put it back on the heat and bring the coffee back up to the same near-boiling point. Remove it from heat again and allow it to cool. Some people prefer to do this a third time — you want to allow enough brewing time while not jeopardizing the crema (foam) that’s forming at the top of your coffee and how you manage this balancing act will be up to you.

6. Serve. Pour out your coffee into a small cup, like espresso demi tasses or even smaller. You’re going for the effect of a foamy crema on top of the cup, which indicates a good quality brew. Watch out for all the silty grounds remaining at the bottom and enjoy.

Read more about Turkish coffee culture.

Crispy Fried Sage Leaves – A beautiful Garnish!

Crispy Fried Sage Leaves – A beautiful Garnish!

Far too many garnishes are simply bad ideas. Fussy little tomato roses are too precious for any serious eater. If the garnish isn’t a thoughtful and tasty complement to the dish it served with, it has failed. And God help anyone that tries to serve me any garnish that is inedible. Crispily fried sage leaves pass the muster for many dishes. Delicate and crunchy, fried sage leaves can be served whole or crushed and served on squash or bean soups, added to salads, as a condiment for burgers or even munched on as a snack.

Using regular sage leaves is too overpowering in flavour and the texture is unappealing. Once fried in oil, the crispy leaves are light and delicious.

Crispy Fried Sage Leaves

1/4 cup olive oil
1 bunch of sage (25 30 leaves)
Fine grain sea salt

• Pinch off leaves from sage. Wash the leaves and then ensure that they are thoroughly dried.
• Line a plate with several layers of paper towel.
• Place a small saucepan over medium-high heat and allow to heat up for a minute or so.
• Add the olive oil and then carefully add one of the fresh sage leaves. Check to see that your oil is hot enough so that the sage leaf fries in about 3-5 seconds per side. Keep the leaf flat and submerged in the oil using a fork or spatula. Flip the leaves over and fry for an additional 3-5 seconds. If all goes well start cooking additional leaves in small batches of 4 or 5 at a time.
•  Remove from the oil and place on the sheets of paper towel.
• Once they are cooling on the sheets of paper towel season with salt.

The leaves crisp up after they have been removed from the hot oil and begin to cool down.
Leaves should emerge a bright green with no hints of browning.
If the leaves are turning brown or cooking too quickly turn the heat down to medium low.
The fried sage will keep for up to 2 days in a tightly closed container at room temperature.