It’s our last day of State Fair Week (tear!). And what better way to end than with dessert?
Now, I was going to do fried Twinkies. But at the last minute, I changed my mind. Why? Because 1) That required me to buy Twinkies, 2) It also required me to freeze Twinkies overnight. And I was absolutely prepared to do that, until an Anon (Hi!) posted the fried peach idea and I realized that I HAD fresh peaches on hand and could successfully avoid another trip to the grocery store PLUS have a fried peach right away. Laziness and Impatience for the win!
And, oh, what a win.
Challenge: Fried Peaches
I actually piggy-packed my fried peaches onto the corn dog makings. I had a bunch of batter left after the dogs were done, so I added a heaping tablspoon of sugar to it and stirred it up again. That original recipe actually had cayenne in it, which was actually really interesting, but next time I might replace it with ginger, and then add some cinnamon.
So, starting from scratch, that recipe would look like:
2/3 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of yellow corn meal
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of ginger (or more, to taste)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (or more, to taste)
1 Tablespoon sugar (or more, to taste)
3/4 cup of whole milk
You could also find a funnel cake recipe and run with that, to get the sweetness right.
To make this breading, mix your dry ingredients in one bowl. Mix your wet in another. Add together, and quickly stir until the batter JUST comes together. It’ll be a little lumpy and uneven – that’s okay. Then, let the batter rest for about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, you need to peel and pit a peach. I just used the old-fashioned knife peeling method, but you could also boil a bit of water, drop the peach in for 30 seconds, toss it in a bowl full of ice water and slide the skin right off. Either way. Peel the peach, then cut it in half, and remove the pit.
And, like everything else this week, you need hot oil for the frying. Either turn on your fryer, or put vegetable or peanut oil in a pan, a few inches deep, and heat it to 375-ish degrees.
When the batter has rested and the oil is hot, drop the peach half into the batter, use a pair of tongs to spin it around and get it good and covered, then quickly move it to the hot oil. Let it fry up until it’s golden brown – about 5ish minutes. You may have to turn it a time or two to make sure all sides get golden.
Then, remove to a paper-towel-covered plate and let it drain. (I went so far as to blot it. Ooooh.) Yay, you have a fried peach! I served my peach half sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with honey, but I suspect caramel sauce or cool raspberry sauce would be delightful alternatives, too.
Oh, my goodness, I can’t believe I’ve never had this before. It’s like a small piece of peach pie… fried. The crust is crispy and then soft and bready, with a hint of sweetness that compliments the inside peach. And that peach – it’s moist, slightly sweet and slightly tart (like all good peaches are), tender enough to cut with a fork but not fall-apart-all-over-the-place sloppy soft. The honey adds the real shock of sweet here, and the cinnamon played with the cayenne to bring just a hint of heat. All in all, it’s a complex dessert with lots of flavor and great texture contrast. This is something I will absolutely be making again. And next time, it will be served with either vanilla whipped cream or cool ice cream. Mmmmmm…
And that, folks, ends STATE FAIR WEEK… but only for this year. Next year, we’ll tackle new stuff. As for next week, it’ll be a moving related topic, because I’m moving (I hope, I hope, I hope…). Got any tips that make moving houses easier?