A friend called yesterday evening with a question that had me hopping with anticipation.
“My mom has too many white peaches on her tree. Do you want some?”
Did I want some?! The tree was overflowing with ripe fruit that would quickly go soft in the heat of summer in Livermore. I said I’d take as many as she could bring me. The call was pure serendipity. Just that morning I’d been at June Taylor’s Berkeley kitchen chopping white peaches and experimenting with different infusions of herbs in peach preserves as one of a baker’s dozen of people attending Taylor’s wonderful preserve-making class. I’d come home with an assortment of her amazing jams, syrup infusions and fruit cheese, inspired to try my hand at peaches again after my tasty failure making peach conserves a week earlier.
The peaches showed up on my doorstep this morning. They ranged from apricot-sized to the size of a medium commercial peach, with green skin blushed with a deep pink. The flesh of the ripest fruit was a translucent, creamy white while the firmer flesh was a soft apple green.
In a large glass bowl, stir together:
1500 g (net) chopped white peaches
250 g white sugar
150g turbinado sugar
Entire zest (yellow and white) of a medium Meyer lemon
Juice of one medium and one small Meyer lemon (about 1/4 cup)
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for at least one hour (mine sat for three). Spoon out fruit into preserving pan while leaving behind collected syrup, but be sure to scrape any residual turbinado sugar into preserving pan. Bring to a boil in and cook down until fruit has thickened and syrup is glassy and thick and is beginning to spit.
Pour into hot, sterilized jars and can.
I saved the leftover syrup and cooked it down for 10 minutes until it was thick, but it started to burn. I’m going to bottle and refrigerate it and use it as a base for fresh lemonade. Waste not, want not!