Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Peach Spoon Sweet (A Delicious FAIL)

Usually, when I make a recipe for the first time, I try to follow it to the letter. I use the ingredients listed, measure appropriately, and obey instructions. That way I know what the recipe author intended, and I can decide if I like it the way it is, or if I want to make changes to it next time I make the dish.

I didn't do that this time ... and I failed.

To be fair, the "recipe" I was following was in an article in the Food section of last week's Los Angeles Times, and was more a theory than a proper recipe. It said:

Here's how the technique goes: Cut up the fruit and weigh it. Add an equal weight of sugar. Bring it to a boil on top of the stove and then let it sit overnight to macerate. The next day, finish the jam a couple of cups at a time in a nonstick skillet. Cooked over medium-high heat, it'll set in less than five minutes. That's all there is to it.

Unfortunately, I misplaced the newspaper but decided I'd go ahead without it. Whoops.

What was supposed to be peach jam came out like preserved peaches, or as the article put it, "more like an old-fashioned 'spoon sweet.'" What I made didn't set like a jelly, because I didn't use enough sugar (and I didn't add any extra pectin, which would have made for a traditional set.) But what it lacked in jiggle, it more than made up for in flavor. It tastes like summer distilled, and I've already eaten almost half of it! Click here to read a proper recipe for summer fruit jam from the article, or keep reading (if you dare! Mwah hah hah!) for my stunted but still stunning version.

Peach 'Spoon Sweet'

  • 3 very large, ripe peaches
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of your peaches, and how sweet you want the final product to be - mine has a little tart to it, but is still plenty sweet)

  1.  Set a large pot of water to boil on the stove. When it is fully rolling, cut a shallow X into the bottom of each peach. Put the peaches in the water for 30 to 60 seconds, or until you see the skin loosening at the X.
  2. Scoop the peaches out of the water and run them under cold water, until they are cool enough to handle. Peel off the skin - it should just slip right off with your fingers. Remove the stone and mash with a potato masher or fork. I like mine chunky.
  3. Cook the sugar and peaches in a saute pan over low heat. It will probably bubble up - I used a splatter guard to keep the mess to a minimum. Reduce the peaches and stir every few minutes to make sure it doesn't stick or burn. Cook for about 15 minutes, taste for sugar (or add some honey if you want, that would be good too), and, when cool, put in a screw-top jar or glass container.

This will keep for a week in your fridge, but it probably won't last that long because there are so many great ways to enjoy it! Here are some I've already tried and loved:
  • On toast
  • Stirred into plain or Greek yogurt for breakfast (add granola or nuts too)
  • On top of vanilla ice cream
  • In the blender with some strawberries, 6 oz. of soft tofu and ice for an after-gym smoothie
  • With oven-baked pork chops - this was awesome!
And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to add some to champagne for a Bellini. Ciao!


  1. Lovely! I've done the same thing with plums, and it turned out just like that "spoon sweet." SO good!!!

  2. I might try this soon! Do you think I could use Splenda? I bought a bag and would like to use it, since I bought it on more of an impulse than any real "need" for it. (It was on my "free food" list, how could I resist?)

  3. I don't know what Splenda does when you cook it, but I imagine it should be fine. You're really just cooking the peaches down to a puree and sweetening it. (BTW, aren't you glad gestational diabetes doesn't last forever?!)