When you think of pickles, you probably envision spears or slices, sweet little gherkins or spicy chips, but almost always cucumber. Did you know there is a world of possibilities just waiting for you to explore outside of the humble little cuke? Were you aware that other fruits can be pickled, too? Well, now you are!
The best part about quick pickles like these is that you don’t have to worry about the process of canning. This is small batch stuff, best eaten within a week or two, so you don’t need to go crazy. There’s a freshness that remains in each bite, balanced by the sourness of the vinegar you use. And you’ll be able to toss this together in no time, even after work on a weekday between making dinner and getting the kids into bed. Easy peasy!
How you use them is up to you. I have my sights on a shortcake topped with pickled peaches and some voluminous freshly-whipped cream. Not your style? How about with some grilled pork tenderloin? On a burger topped with Kerrygold cheese? In a salad with bitter greens like arugula? With goat cheese on crostini? (Now I’m hungry!) No matter how you serve them, you will love these jazzy little slices of heaven. And you’ll wonder how you got by without eating pickled peaches before!
- 2-2 1/2 pounds approximately yellow and white peaches
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 4 1/2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 cloves
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups organic sugar
- Boil 3 pint jars and lids to sterilize them. Keep them in the hot water until ready to use.
- Wash, peel, and slice the peaches. Remove jars from the pot of water and distribute the peaches among them.
- Seed and de-vein the jalapeno, then chop it and divide that among the jars.
- To each jar, add 1/2 cinnamon stick, 1 whole clove, and 1 sprig thyme. Set aside.
- In a large heavy-bottomed sauce pan, combine the remaining cinnamon sticks, cloves, thyme, vinegar, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring to ensure all the sugar is dissolved.
- Divide the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and thyme among the jars, then ladle the remaining mixture evenly between the jars.
- Stir, wipe off the rims with a moistened clean cloth, and affix the lids, tightening down the bands finger tight (not so tight you can't get them off).
- Let the jars sit on a towel on the counter for a couple of hours to cool, then transfer to the refrigerator overnight to let the flavors meld before consuming.
- Use within 3 weeks, to be safe.
Next month for First on the First, Kate and I will be making Gâteau Basque, which is a traditional cake from the Basque region of France. Got cherries? Then this is the cake for you! If you’re interested in joining us, check out the First on the First tab above for more information.
Who has a craving for pickles?
Let’s see what the other First on the First participants made this month!