• June, full of peaches and blueberries in NC!

    Posted on June 5, 2015 by in Blog

    By Daniela Garcia Grandon

    blueberries and peaches

    Summer is full of delicious surprises, and June has arrived along with peaches and blueberries in North Carolina! While in season, these fruits will be tastier and often less expensive than when they are off season. Today I want to share some of the benefits of peaches and blueberries, plus some summer dessert ideas.

    The scientific name for peaches is prunus persica. Although its origins are now traced to China, it was once believed that they came from Persia (that is why “persica” is in the name). This juicy fruit is a great source of vitamins (such as vitamins A, B, C, E and K), minerals and antioxidants. They are helpful to overall health and beauty. For example, peaches are known for their effects on skin, keeping skin moist and improving texture. Also peaches are a filling fruit, meaning they can be a healthy snack for the summer while making us feel full!

    While not big in size, blueberries are one of the few native fruits from North America. Blueberries have a great deal of antioxidants, more than all other fruits and many vegetables. Antioxidants help to fight free radicals, which promote ageing, cancer, illness and inflammation. Experts recommend eating them raw, rather than baked or cooked.

    I love to eat these fruits just natural, but they are great in desserts too. Today I want to share two of my favorite summer desserts that involve peaches and blueberries for this June!

    Frozen peach and blueberry cream cups

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup Peaches, peeled and sliced
    • 1 cup Blueberries
    • 1 cup Coconut cream in a can (or Greek yogurt)

    Preparation

    1. Freeze the peeled and sliced peaches and blueberries (6 hours would work)
    2. Then, put them into the blender with the coconut cream and mix
    3. Voila! Pour them into small containers!
    4. Enjoy!

    Peach, Blueberry and Strawberry mini Tartlets

    You will need a muffin pan/mold. You can also use paper cups (optional).

    Dough:

    Ingredients (18 count)

    • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
    • 1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar
    • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cold and cut in small cubes
    • 3 tbsp. cold water
    • Plastic wrap
    • 1 cup each of peaches, blueberries, and strawberries (or any fruits)

    Preparation dough:
    Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor or by hand. Add a handful of butter cubes at a time, mixing well with the dry ingredients. Then add the water. Once all the ingredients are combined, put the dough in a ball shape and cover it with the plastic wrap. Put the dough ball into the fridge for about an hour.

    After the hour, preheat the oven to 400°F, and remove the dough from the fridge. Flatten the dough on a flour-covered surface. Use a cookie cutter or cup to cut small circles that you can place in the muffin pan. Try to leave small borders, and pinch it with a fork in the base. Place in the oven for about 8 to 10 min or until golden. Remove and reserve.

    For the pastry cream (adapted from http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-pastry-cream-168126):

    You will need:

    • Saucepan
    • Whisk
    • Strainer/colander

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 cups whole milk (this can be replaced by orange juice or lemon juice if preferred. If you do this, add the zest of one of those fruits)
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 4 tbsp. of corn starch
    • 2 large egg yolks
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Preparation

    1. In a small bowl, mix ½ cup of the milk (or juice) with the corn starch.
    2. Warm the rest of the milk (or juice) in the saucepan until you start to see wisps of steam. It should not actually be boiling. Add the cornstarch/milk mix, and whisk.
    3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and the egg yolks. This will form a thick paste. It’s fine if the paste looks crumbly or smooth; the important thing is that the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
    4. Take the sauce pan off the stove. Add the egg mixture to the hot mix. Pour a little of the eggs into the hot mix, and whisk to combine. Continue pouring slowly into the hot mix, whisking continuously. It’s ok to switch back and forth between pouring the hot mix and whisking if you can’t manage both at the same time. Set a strainer/colander over a bowl and place this near the stove.
    5. Set the pan back over medium heat. Whisk constantly. At first, the pastry cream will look very thin and frothy, but it will start to thicken after a few minutes. When it has thickened to a pudding-like consistency, pause whisking every few seconds to see if the cream has come to a boil. When you see large bubbles popping on the surface, whisk for a few more seconds and then remove the pan from heat. Add the vanilla extract.
    6. Set over the bowl. Stir to push it through the strainer. This will catch any bits of cooked egg that may be in your pastry cream.
    7. Cover the pastry cream with a piece of plastic wrap pressed right up against the surface of the cream and chill completely.

    Finally, the tartlets!

    Once the pastry cream chills completely, it’s time to fill in the pastries. You can use the paper cups that have the pastries in them, or take the pastries out and place them all on a tray. Then, put pastry cream in each of the mini tartlets.

    Use peaches, blueberries and strawberries on top to design each mini tartlet (cut them in halves or slice if too big). If you want, you can paint the fruit with no-color/flavor jelly for a brilliant appearance. Decorating can’t go wrong!

     

    Note: I want to give special thanks to Erinn Brooks and Zandra Alford for their kind comments and reviewing on this post.

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