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Peach Jelly

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

This recipe came suddenly and became a favorite in a matter of two or three weeks this summer - we already made it like 6 times. To my surprise, for some reason the members of the household were not so much interested in fresh peaches  in spite of them being irresistibly delicious (obviously only to me!) and in season here in New England. The pink beauties ripened quickly on the counter and started to spoil. At one of these sad moments I was about to fix a compote out of them, but Irishka, our guest from Russia, timidly suggested to make jelly. Oh well, I thought, why not? Thanks for the idea! Using my previous experience with gelatin and after some thinking and tweaking, I developed a recipe that can be rightfully called perfect - a rare thing to happen during three weeks. Delightfully pink, moderately sweetened, this flavorful and elegant dessert will please your palates and perk you up on a hot and humid day. Read on, it's easy!
What you need:
5-6 medium peaches (white or yellow or both, the pinker the skins the better)
2 1/4 cups filtered water for syrup and 2 Tbsp for soaking gelatin
1/4 cup + 1 tsp sugar (I used unrefined organic sugar)
Juice of a small lemon half (2-3 tsp)
1-2 Tbsp Peach Brandy (optional, but highly recommended)
1 envelope of gelatin (Knox brand was used)

4-5 ice cream bowls
1.5 qt saucepan
Wooden spoon
Slotted spoon
Measuring cup (500 ml)

Time: 30 minutes plus time for jelly to chill.
Makes 4-5 portions.

1.In a saucepan combine 2 1/4 cups water and 1/4 cup  (plus 1 tsp) sugar, put on medium heat.
2.Wash, dry and halve peaches, remove pits. If pits are hard to remove, do it after the peaches are cooked.
3.Bring water and sugar to boil and flip peaches' halves into the saucepan making sure they are all covered with syrup. Simmer on low heat gently turning with wooden spoon until peaches are soft, but not overcooked and falling apart (about 15 minutes). The darker the skins the more intense color of the syrup you will get. I even put an additional dark red skin to add more color (and eat the skinned peach during the process :))
4.When peaches are soft, fish them out with a slotted spoon and let cool on a plate. Remove and discard the skins, they should come off easily.
5. In a small dish, pour gelatin to 2 table spoons of water, stir to moisten.
6. Add lemon juice and brandy to the syrup, simmer for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to very low, combine gelatin and syrup, stir until gelatin dissolves completely. Do not let it boil, just keep it on very low heat. Strain the syrup through a fine sieve into a measuring cup. You should get just a little over 2 cups, about 500 ml of liquid.
7. Slice peaches' halves into 5-6 wedges each, distribute among your bowls. Pour the syrup over evenly. Let them cool at room temperature, then transfer to the fridge to chill, until firm.


When ready,  slowly savor this pink, and cool,  and a little wobbly summer delight.  French brioche that recently appeared in the stores, goes perfectly well with it (Alex says so!)

The instructions on gelatin packets are completely out of proportion. What you get as a result is an overly firm unpalatable mass.  Instead of 1 envelope per 1 cup of liquid, use 1 envelope per 2 cups of liquid. Some like it firm but definitely not me in this case.
Summer peaches are the best since they have a lot of flavor, but one can make it also in winter as a festive treat (not so good, but would be appreciated at a party, after a vigorous dance:)).