This year’s Louisiana peach crop is less robust than usual due to a mild winter across the south, but there’s still time to buy fresh peaches here in Baton Rouge. Waterproof-based Plantation Pecan Company had plenty last Saturday at the downtown Red Stick Farmers Market, but you need to arrive early. I picked up a half-bushel and have been sinking my teeth into a peach a day ever since. They’ve been really delicious and scream summer.
My favorite application for fresh peaches is peach ice cream, and I love to make it in when I have an abundance. But in years like this, I settle for peach sorbet, which requires fewer peaches and can be made with minimal effort.
There are three different ways to tackle fruit sorbets. You can freeze them in an ice cream maker. You can also manipulate their texture into creamy submission through intervals of freezing and stirring. Or, you can forego perfect texture and toss sorbet in the freezer overnight, letting it soften and mounding it neatly with a good ice cream scoop before serving.
Because I was in a hurry and didn’t feel like getting in the weeds of responsible recipe development, I modified an existing recipe from The Kitchn. This one is tasty. It uses no refined sugar and is filled with peachy pop. And if bourbon’s not your jam, feel free to omit it. I did.
This recipe calls for hourly stirring over a 5-hour period, so it’s best for making when you’re in your kitchen for an extended period. Alternatively, you can follow my lazy lead and toss it in the freezer overnight. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving and use an ice cream scoop (with some muscle) to form tight mounds.
Bourbon Peach Sorbet
Modified from The Kitchn, Emily Han
Makes almost 1 quart
5 large yellow peaches (peeled or unpeeled)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup water
¼ cup honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons bourbon
To make the peach purée, remove the pits and process the peaches in a food processor or blender until smooth to make 3 cups.
Combine the peach purée with the lemon juice, water, honey, vanilla and salt and stir. Pour the mixture into a shallow pan, such as an 8’x8’ glass casserole.
Place the pan in the freezer and freeze until the edges start to firm up, about an hour. Remove the pan from the freezer and stir with a fork until the consistency is uniform. Return the pan to the freezer and repeat this process every hour or so until the sorbet is slushy throughout, about 4 to 5 hours total.
Stir in the bourbon.
Transfer the sorbet to a lidded container. Place the container in the freezer and freeze until firm.
If necessary, let the sorbet stand at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes to soften before serving.