Saturday 18 December 2021

Susan's Baked Peach Slices

My friend Susan was an enthusiastic dinner party hostess and her preparation and table settings were well known and appreciated by those of us who where lucky enough to dine with her. I learned a lot from her. She passed away in 2013 but I still think of her fondly whenever I cook something she taught me to make.

Susan was some years older than me, and first started hosting dinner parties in the mid-60's. Food tastes weren't as cosmopolitan then and the range of ingredients available to most home cooks wasn't as diverse. Menu variety was achieved by trying to find new and engaging ways to prepare commonly available foods rather than by searching out rare or unusual seasonings and ingredients. I think it's safe to say that most home cooks were more familiar with basic cooking techniques than home cooks tend to be now, and that they took a different and generally more frugal approach to shopping for and preparing meals. 

Susan's baked peach slices are a classic example of that approach to adding variety. She took three commonly available ingredients and combined them in an unexpected way, arriving at something new and surprisingly different to serve her guests. 

I can't really call this a recipe because quantities were never written down and, really, it's so simple to make that if you've prepared it once you'll be able to replicate it ever thereafter. Even so, I've decided to share it with you. It's inexpensive to make, and it comes together very quickly. It's a perfect fall-back for those occasions when you find yourself with unexpected guests, or for times when you'd far rather be visiting than labouring over a stove.

To make Susan's Baked Peach Slices, you'll need:

  • Canned peach slices (or peach slices in jars), packed in either juice or light syrup.  Heavy syrup is too sweet.  (I try to allow about 1/2 of a 14 ounce tin or pint jar for each serving.)
  • Brown sugar
  • Curry powder

Drain the peaches and arrange them in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Sprinkle them with brown sugar; not so heavily they're entirely covered but enough to add a little sweetness and help the seasoning to stick to the fruit.

Sprinkle curry powder over the brown sugar.  Use a light hand. You don't want the spice to overwhelm the flavour of the peaches.

Just before you sit down to your main course, put the prepared peaches into a 350F oven.  They should cook for 20 minutes or so. If you're not ready for them by then, simply turn off the heat and leave the peaches in the oven to keep warm.

When you're ready to serve dessert, scoop vanilla ice cream onto pretty plates or into shallow bowls and serve the warm baked peach slices beside it.

See?  I told you it was easy.  Don't discount this dish though. It really is amazingly good.


April Harris said...

I am so intrigued by this dish - the flavours sound amazing. I really want to give it a try, and as I have a can of peaches, this may happen soon! The recipe is such a lovely way to remember your friend as well, Beth. Thank you for sharing it.

Aunt B said...

Thanks April. That's a great compliment.