Easy Summer Desserts
One of my favorite summer fruit are peaches. White peaches, yellow peaches… I don’t discriminate. I do like to wait for freestone peaches (peaches whose flesh separates from the stone easily), which are available mid-June through mid-August, but truthfully I can’t resist clingstone peaches either. Once peaches start showing up in grocery stores and farmers’ markets, I’m all in. Peaches are so delicious just sliced and enjoyed and are a great addition to a morning fruit smoothie, but can also be transformed into a delightful dessert so very easily. Take for instance these peach dumplings. There are only a handful of ingredients, but the result is impressive and delicious all at the same time.
How to Peel Peaches
The peaches for these peach dumplings do need to be peeled. You can peel them with a peeler, but the easier and more efficient way to peel peaches is to blanch and shock the peaches. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. While you wait for the water to boil, score the bottom of the peach with a small “X”. Then, plunge the peaches into the boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds and remove it immediately to a bowl of ice water. You should then be able to just pull the skin off the peaches with a paring knife or your fingers. Slice the peeled peaches in half and remove the pit. Toss the peaches in a combination of brown sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch and set aside while you prepare the puff pastry.
How to Make Peach Dumplings
Roll one sheet of puff pastry into a large 10-inch square and then cut that square into four 5-inch squares. Brush the perimeter of each square with egg wash and place one peach half, cut side up, in the center of each square of puff pastry. Spoon any of the excess sugar and spice mixture from the bowl into the center of the peaches and top with the other peach halves. Then, fold the pastry up around the peach, pinching opposite corners together first and then pinching the open edges together. You may need to stretch the pastry to get it to fit. Don’t be shy – the pastry can take it.
Brush with Egg Wash
Don’t skip the step of brushing the outside with egg wash. These dumplings need a little shine and the egg not only adds shine, but color too. Simply beat one egg in a small bowl and brush all sides of the dumplings. It’s the egg white that will give it a little shine and adds to a crispy texture, and the yolk will help the pastry brown nicely.
How Long to Bake Dumplings
If the peaches you’ve wrapped are ripe, you will really only need to look at the outside of the dumpling to know when it has finished baking. The pastry should be brown and crisp on all sides. If you’re worried about the peaches inside, you can insert a paring knife into the dumpling to see how easily the peaches are pierced, but 30 minutes at 400˚F should be long enough to both brown and bake the pastry, as well as soften the peaches inside.
How to Serve Peach Dumplings
Once the peaches have baked, let them sit for 10 minutes before serving. Then, serve whole with some whipped cream or ice cream, with a dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of caramel sauce if you like. These are a good sized dessert for a hungry appetite, so sharing one dumpling between two is also a nice idea.