July 21, 2016

Fresh Peach Caramels

ejFRESHPEACHCARAMELSJuly’s ingredients for the Improve Cooking Challenge are PEACHES & CREAM. Initially, I was quite excited for this challenge because I have a lovely white peach tree in my garden. Sadly, however, the fruit never set on after it blossomed early Spring, peachblossom& now it looks like this:deadpeach

Never fear… a #10 of Del Monte canned diced peaches is available at Costco any time of year… ejFRESHPEACHCARAMELS (2)So that’s what I used for the Peach Caramel Rum Sauce.saucy1Darn heat/humidity! The “caramels” refused to set up overnight… But it did make a lovely sauce to spoon over vanilla bean ice cream!ejFRESHPEACHCARAMELS (32)


Determined to fix caramels with fresh peaches, I bought a few pounds at Sprouts. After peeling/pitting four of them, the halves were tossed into the blender to make the purée. blendedThe (nearly 2 1/2 cups) purée was slowly cooked down to 1/2 cup ejFRESHPEACHCARAMELS (22)(took almost 2 hours over medium-low heat on a humid day…)recipeThis is the recipe I used, and the following pics will illustrate the steps:

Stir the sugar & corn syrup into the peach reduction. Cook over medium-low heat until thermometer reaches 234°.ejFRESHPEACHCARAMELS (23)Without breaking the boil, stir in 1/2 cup of cream. Return to 234°.ejFRESHPEACHCARAMELS (24)Again, stir in the last 1/2 cup of cream, but this time let the thermometer reach 244°. Pour into buttered 8x8 pan.ejFRESHPEACHCARAMELS (25)Allow to cool & slice into caramels.

ejFRESHPEACHCARAMELS (27)As you can see, these caramels remained a little soft in our desert heat, but they tasted soooooooo good!

ImprovCookingChallenge…and now, here are some more PEACHES & CREAM recipes from my fellow bloggers:

June 16, 2016

HONEYdew mojito pops

ej-mojitopopNot a being a huge fan of “mint”, I figured I would have a tough time with this month’s Improv Cooking Challenge ingredients, MINT & MELON… That is, until a friend was describing her favorite drink: Watermelon Mojito. I thought, hmmmmmmmm – I could play around with that.mintnmelon

So I did…

But then I came across a recipe for honey-lime simple syrup. And it was obvious that the mint leaves should go into that, instead of being blended with the fruit.recipecard

I love my blender! It made short work of those honeydew chunks.pouringpopsI did have some difficulty pouring directly into the molds, though (& that was before the rum!)

My two “of-age” tasters loved the popsicle!enjoy

I even made a batch without rum for the teenagers. Again, rave reviews.thumbsupExcept from me – I just do not enjoy mint & lime.notafan


But, here are some more MINT & MELON recipes developed by my friends: