I’m a day later than usual posting my recipe. June is always busy, but this weekend was especially full. Friday was my youngest daughter’s graduation from middle school, and I spent Saturday and Sunday at my mom’s place, helping her prepare for a family get-together with our relatives, the Woolners, Keirs and McNerns.
My Woolner relatives live on farms, and I spoke with two of my cousins about their enormous gardens. Although the gardens are a lot of work, Carol and Ruth Anne are both justifiably proud of the wonderful produce they grow themselves. As someone who grew up on a farm, I know there's nothing like eating food that you've grown yourself. We always had the most delicious fresh fruit, with jam and canned and frozen fruit to get us through the winter. And vegetables too. Don't even get me dreaming about my mother's asparagus patch.
We didn't have a peach tree, but relied on local orchards for our peaches when I was growing up. And now that I live in the city, I love visiting the farmers' market for great fruit. When peach season comes along, I'll definitely make these bars again. I was seduced by the notion of combining browned butter shortbread with the sweetness of peaches, and it proved to be as delicious as I'd imagined. I was a little short of peaches when I made it, so I covered the remainder of the base with peach jam, and that was terrific too. I did find the shortbread a little crumbly and would probably use a bit less flour next time.
(from smitten kitchen)
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 3/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp flour (next time I make the recipe, I’ll use a little less)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter
1 large egg
2 – 3 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced (between 1/8 and 1/4 inches thick)
Brown your butter: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, and as soon as it starts to turn brown remove from heat. Freeze until solid. (For me, this took about an hour.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 inch pan or line it with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and cinnamon with a whisk. Use a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips to blend the solidified brown butter and egg into the flour mixture. Pat 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing firmly. Arrange the peach slices in tiles over the crumb base in a single layer. Scatter remaining crumbs evenly over peaches and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until top is slightly brown. Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.