Plucking peaches off a tree is the first step towards spectacular sorbet.
Unlike supermarket fruit, fresh peaches teeter from tongue-stripping acidity to monstrous overripeness. The barest touch bruises the flesh of a ripe peach; so reach between branches with care, gently testing each fruit with a fond caress. On my latest picking excursion I ate five peaches in fifty minutes, then returned home for peach pie and cobbler and preserves and butter and barbecue sauce and a marvelous, marvelous sorbet. Distilled from eight raw peaches, the sorbet looks like frozen sunshine. Take a spoon and scrape a sample off a finished pint: the ice crystals collapse into a heap of summer snow.
Zach B., Yale University
Pie baking can be a fussy activity, all about ratios of fat to flour and sugar to fruit. Even the slightest variation in technique can result in a less than satisfactory pastry. As a result, baking a pie requires a scientific attitude, constantly tweaking variables to find the combination that results in the closest approximation to the perfect pie. (Pictures after the jump)
Pork tenderloin gets a bad rap.
“Dry.” “Flavorless.” “Lackluster in every imaginable way.” So I’ve heard this cut insulted. I, however, disagree. When properly prepared, briefly cooked over heat equivalent to the surface of a star and then finished in a gentle oven, pork tenderloin transforms into an insanely tender dish. With hints of luxurious liver and musky pig, this narrow sliver of protein plays well with fruit.
Craving some pork—who isn’t—I wanted to develop a recipe that would sauce the admittedly lean meat with acid and sugar. Although June seems early for peaches, I figured that the recipe would perform well throughout July and August, even with slightly under ripe fruit. A lonely onion camped out in the vegetable drawer, so I decided to craft a savory-sweet marmalade to provide a summery dressing. Originally, I intended to prepare a buttery sunchoke mash, rough and nutty, but the local megamart had no little knobbly roots lurking on the shelves. So I picked up a parsnip, similar in flavor profile, and roasted it in thin slices to generate a chewy, crispy texture.
If only I had a kitchen in my dorm next year, I could cook for myself every night. Or at least until I got tired of the work, since this meal (while technically easy) took around 45 minutes. For less than $10 though, I felt I got my college money’s worth.