Pickled Ginger Peaches

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A note from Maggie

During peach season, I have a few huddled together on my counter all the time, everyday, just because. I chop them into my Peach Pico de Gallo; I slice them into my oatmeal or a fruit salad; I slice them into a tomato salad; they’re great with avocado and ricotta on toast; and now, I’m putting the pickled kind into my cocktails.

Kate and I were pulling the elements together for this photo shoot, and decided to stir some of these into a cocktail. Fresh and super cooling, these Pickled Ginger Peaches are just what we need during a heatwave or on a random Wednesday. Happy summer!

Inspiration can be a devious vixen, and will sometimes hide in the most unlikeliest places. I was doing nothing more than sipping iced tea on a hot (sweltering, to be exact) summer day when this quirky idea came to me. It was that simple, but it lead me here and I think it’s a pretty good place to be.

The idea of pickled peaches has always fascinated me. The honey-like sweetness of peaches paired with the tartness of vinegar seemed somehow wrong and yet so very right. I had heard of pickling peaches from my Southern pals, but I had never tasted them myself.

Pickled Peaches//eatboutique.com

I’m not picky when it comes to pickling, and have tried my hand at dousing eggs and all types of veggies, meats, and fruits in a variety of vinegar-y goodness. I also grew up in a household where jars of homemade canned peaches lined the pantry shelves, making an appearance atop cottage cheese come dinnertime. Knowing these two things, it seems only natural that one day I would turn to one of my most trusted techniques and pickle them peaches.

But I digress. Back to the iced tea. It just so happens on this particular day, my local coffee shop brewed a fresh batch of ginger peach iced tea and I decided to veer away from my afternoon iced coffee to try it. One sip, and I knew I had the initial makings of my own batch of pickled peaches.

Pickled Peaches//eatboutique.com

Since ginger was a necessary ingredient, I chose to go with sweeter, warming spices than the more traditional flavors and herbs. I thought about all of the elements I like in a peach cobbler and then played with the ratios of each ingredient until I had a jar of sweet, tart, and spicy peaches that are awesome on their own; atop a bowl of Greek yogurt (my take on cottage cheese); or served alongside some robust cheese and bread. Your friends will love it, and you can tell them it all started with a cool drink on a hot day.

And speaking of drinks, the peachy pickling liquid happens to be cocktail gold. It acts a little like a shrub and adds a really nice punch of sweet, ginger-y, tart flavor to any drink. I like to mix a 1/2 ounce of it with bourbon, muddled mint, and a touch of seltzer, but have fun experimenting with your own favorite spirits, herbs, and mixers. And keep me posted on what you try, so we can raise a peachy-keen glass together.

Pickled Peaches//eatboutique.com

Pickled Ginger Peaches

This recipe is totally flexible, and can be tailored to your own tastes. Feel free to leave the peach skins on if you’re short on time or it’s too hot in the kitchen. And let this serve as your inspiration to your own version of pickled peaches (and then share that recipe with me, ok?).

Makes: 1 quart

Total Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized peaches
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (3-inch knob) fresh ginger, sliced into circles
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cut a shallow "x" into the bottom of each peach. Add the peaches to the pot, and let boil for 2 minutes. Remove and immediately submerge in cold water.
  2. Once cooled, peel the skin off by starting at the corners of the "x." Slice each peach in half and remove the pit. Either
  3. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, add the vinegar, sugar, ginger, cloves, allspice, peppercorns, cinnamon, and vanilla. Swirl slightly while simmering until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Carefully pour the liquid over the peaches in the jar. Let cool. The peaches will be ready to eat one day later, but will last up to 1 week in the fridge.

Materials

  • Jar
  • Ribbon
  • Tag
  • Wooden knife or spoon

Directions

  1. Put the pickled peaches in a jar. Wrap the ribbon around the lip of the jar and through the tag. Tie the wooden knife or spoon with the ribbon.
Photos taken by Julie Clio

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