Every year, we wait patiently for the freestone peaches to be perfectly ripe so we can begin making preserves, brandied peaches, and peach pies. Freestone peaches are the best to cook with because the fruit comes easily away from the pit. Cling peaches, the ones with fruit that sticks to the pit, generally ripen a couple of weeks earlier than freestones. There are several cultivars of each kind–some sweeter and juicier than others.
This year, warm, rainy weather across the South has accelerated the growing seasons. The mayhaws, which are supposed to be ripe in May, were all harvested by mid-April. And the cling peaches, which we usually get in June, were already ripening in mid-May.
Looks like the freestones season is about to begin! Please leave alerts about where you are finding the best peaches this year in the comments section!
Peach Pie Recipe after the jump! read more Peach Patrol! »
The same East Texas produce stand that had the “Big Ass Melons” sign I posted previously also had this great mayhaw jelly sign. I didn’t buy any because I loaded up on mayhaws this season to make my own jelly. I still have a gallon in my freezer. I am a little tired of mayhaw jelly though and I started thinking of other things to do with mayhaws. A mayhaw margarita came immediately to mind. But instead of trying to perfect the mayhaw syrup myself, I gave some mayhaws to Bobby Heugel at Anvil. Bobby had never heard of mayhaws.
read more Anvil's Mayhaw Cocktails »
Mayhaw season is here and if you want to buy some, go visit Bill Jackson. He has a bunch in the freezer. The Jackson fruit farm is on the edge of the Big Thicket in Livingston. Bill Jackson grew up on this farm raising cotton and the food his family lived on. It was a hand to mouth existence. He tried growing peaches here, but a virus killed the trees. So he needed to find something else to grow.
read more Mayhaw Time in the Thicket »