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July marks the beginning of peach season and I for one couldn’t be happier.  Sweet summer peaches make the best desserts, at least I think so.  We made a trip to the farmers market yesterday where a vendor was roasting whole peaches.  Once roasted they would sprinkle sugar or cinnamon over the top with a drizzle of honey.  Joe had to have one and actually let me share in a bite or two.  The peach was warm and sticky and tasted delicious.  After devouring that peach there was no way we were walking out of there without a basket of peaches to take home.  Peach dumplings were an obvious choice as they are easy to make and fun to eat.  I wanted to try something other than the traditional vanilla ice cream on the side so I added a warm vanilla cream sauce.  I can honestly say I’ve never tasted a more delectable peach filled pastry.



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It starts with good ripe peaches.  For this recipe you’ll need 4 peaches.


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Peaches are easily peeled when blanched.  Boil some water and dropped the peaches in for 1 – 2 minutes.  Then fill a bowl with ice water and drop the peaches in to halt them from cooking any further.


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Once they have cooled, the skin virtually peels away.


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Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits.


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In a small bowl add some brown sugar, cinnamon and butter.


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Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until it becomes crumbly.


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You can make your own dough or use biscuit dough like my Mom used to.  I prefer the puff pastry sheets to wrap the peaches.


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There are 2 sheets in the package. Flour a large surface and roll out the puff pastry just enough so that you can divide each sheet into 4 equal squares.


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Take a square and roll out large enough to wrap around your peach half.  Spread about a tablespoon of the brown sugar mix onto your square.  I cut off a little piece to make some leaf cutouts but it’s not necessary.


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Place the peach (pit side up) on top of the brown sugar mix.


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Sprinkle a little more of the brown sugar mix on top of the peach and brush a little egg wash around the outer edges of the pastry dough.


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The egg wash works like glue to piece your dumpling together.  Just pinch opposite corners to each other.


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Now pinch the other two corners together.


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With the extra strip of pastry dough I used a cookie cutter to make these cute little leaves.  Brush them with a little egg wash and place on top of your dumpling anywhere they might look pretty.


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Place the dumplings in a 9″ x 11″ baking pan.


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Brush the dumplings with the remaining egg wash all over to give them that golden sheen look, then sprinkle with a little raw sugar.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 – 50 minutes.

 

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While the dumplings are in the oven, time to make the vanilla cream sauce.  If you use white sugar you will get a lovely white cream sauce but I chose to use brown sugar because I love the taste of brown sugar on peaches.  Combine the brown sugar and flour.  Mix until well combined.


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Along with the brown sugar and flour, you’ll need some butter, heavy cream, cinnamon and about 2 inches of a vanilla bean.


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In a medium saucepan, add the brown sugar mix along with the butter.  Stir over medium heat to melt the butter.


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Add in the heavy cream and continue to stir.


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Scrape the vanilla bean and add to the pot.


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Sprinkle in some cinnamon and stir to combine.  Bring the mixture to a boil, turn down the heat to low, cover with a lid and let simmer for 10 minutes.


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The sauce will need to be refrigerated if not used immediately.


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Straight from the oven, don’t they look good!


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Drizzle some warm vanilla cream over your plate, then top with a peach dumpling.


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Peach Dumplings with Vanilla Cream Sauce (adapted from The Prepared Pantry)

Peach Dumplings

4 large ripe Peaches
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Butter
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 package Puff Pastry (2 sheets)
Egg Wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water)
Raw Sugar, optional

Vanilla Cream Sauce

1/3 cup Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Flour
1 cup Heavy Cream
4 tablespoons Butter
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 inches Vanilla Bean, scraped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Blanch peaches by dropping in boiling water for 1 – 2 minutes, then immerse in ice water to halt the cooking process.  When cooled, peel the peaches, halve and remove the pits.  Cut in butter with brown sugar and cinnamon with a pastry cutter until mixture becomes crumbly.

Flour a large surface and roll out the puff pastry just enough so that you can divide each sheet into 4 equal squares.  Take a square and roll out just large enough to wrap around your peach. Place about a tablespoon of the brown sugar mix onto each square.  Place the peach (pit side up) on top of the mixture.  Sprinkle another tablespoon on top of the peach and brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash.  Lift 2 opposite corners and pinch together at the top.  Take the other 2 corners and pinch together.  Any remaining dough can be used to cut out leaves to place as a decoration on top of the dumplings.  Place dumplings in a 9″ x 11″ baking dish, brush each dumpling with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar.  Bake in oven for 45 – 50 minutes or until dumplings are golden brown.  Serve dumplings with warm vanilla cream sauce.

To make Vanilla Cream Sauce:  Combine brown sugar and flour and mix with a fork until well combined.  Transfer to a medium saucepan over medium heat and add butter, heavy cream, cinnamon and scraped vanilla bean.  Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low, cover with a lid and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Whisk the sauce and serve immediately or refrigerate.

Makes 8 servings.