Thursday, July 14, 2011
For When Those Peaches Are Ripe and You Just Don't Want to Eat a Peach
For the first time in weeks I am finally home and actually almost cooking. Well I am cooking only in the sense that we are not eating out. I am not really cooking since Son3 is in Utah doing some jazz stuff
We were in Portland for 9 delightful and delicious days. We got to spend some quality unhurried time with Son1 and Son2, Fortunately for us they like to eat out and knew many places for us to try. My new favorite restaurant is Toro Bravo, a tapas place. My new never before recipe is a take off on the delicious dessert I had there. They serve an olive oil cake with caramelized strawberries. It was beyond delicious.
After we got back in town I did the usual restocking with milk, bread and the essentials you need when returning from a trip. While I was at Andy's Produce Market, I noticed ( smelled) the beautiful peaches and had to get a small basket. Now I love peaches as much as the next guy but can only eat so many. I had a eureka moment when I remembered the dessert from Toro Bravo. I bought a pound cake and thank you very much, I realize I could easily bake one, but it is much easier to buy it. Marta's pound cakes are delicious and as good as anything I could make so I bought it.
I put 2 small slices on a breakfast plate then worked the caramel magic in a saucepan. This is not a recipe from a cookbook but just from years of knowing how to make a light caramel. So here goes an almost original yet Kind of stolen recipe.
Put 1 cup of sugar in the bottom of a saucepan and add 3 tablespoons of water. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until the sugar turns a light brown. Remember when stirring to clean the sides of the pan. The delicious color and caramel flavor usually comes form the sides so you need to keep incorporating it back into the sugar. Also keep a cup of hot water handy. Sugar, being a crystal likes to return to its natural state. You might need to add a bit of water if it starts getting grainy and if you toss cold water in the pan the entire thing will crystallize and then you have to add more water and cook it for about another 5 minutes to get it caramely again, and who wants to do that? Add 1 tablespoon of butter and stir to mix. Then add 2 peeled sliced fresh peaches and stir to coat the peaches thoroughly. Put the caramel coated peaches over the cake and spoon the caramel sauce over the peaches. Serve immediately. I should have taken a picture of it, but we ate every crumb as soon as it was on the plates.*
The caramel was actually enough for 3 peaches, but there were only 2 of us so we just used the 2 pieces of fruit. I imagine you could do this with almost anything, but for apples it might require a little cooking time in the caramel to soften them a bit.
What can I say but YUMLICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!
* The picture was added 2 nights later. We had more peaches and enough leftover pound cake for a repeat!