Right now we have an abundance of late-season peaches in our fridge. They aren't the greatest quality, certainly not mouth-watering like the peaches we get in August. I would never cook with those peaches, they are best eaten fresh, with the juice running down your arm. The ones I'm dealing with now, while the flavor is fine, are not at all juicy and a bit mealy. What to do with all these peaches?
I wanted a special beverage for the dinner, and since I currently have about two pounds of loose leaf black tea waiting to be used (Bless you, dear friend who sent it to me!) it only made sense; Peach Iced Tea.
Here's what I came up with:
Fresh Peach Sweet Tea
Makes about 6 quarts
2 lb fresh peaches (about 6)
6-8 tea bags, or Tbs loose-leaf tea (I highly recommend loose-leaf)
2-3 C simple syrup*
8 C water
Put your water on to boil. While waiting, peel and slice peaches (as long as they aren't super mush, you can peel them with a regular vegetable peeler.) and put through a food mill or food processor. If you want you can then force the peach puree through a fine sieve.
When the water boils, turn off the heat, add your tea bags and allow to steep for 5 minutes. This will make a good strong tea without steeping so long it turns bitter.
This is my kind of tea bag. :)
Now, if you've forced the peaches through a sieve, you could now simply stir it into the tea. I wanted mine very smooth and not pulpy though, so I didn't sieve it. I put the peaches in cheese cloth and poured the tea over it, allowing all the peach juices to be brought out and the fibers left behind. Squeeze the pulp as dry as you can, there is really very little waste. Stir in as much or as little simple syrup as you like, keeping in mind that it's strong tea that will be served over ice, so you may want it a tad too sweet to start with. Enjoy!
* Simple Syrup is made simply by combining equal parts water and sugar in a sauce pan and bringing it to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Cool and use in any sweet drinks you want.