Peach Perfection

Lake Erie provides an ideal growing environment for this stone fruit. Pick up a quart — or more — and make peaches the star of your next meal or get-together. They’re just as delicious in a pie as in a pita — and add their one-of-a-kind flavor to everything from the humble chocolate chip cookie to sparkling cocktails. 
Golden Bellini
Peaches and cream are pretty great, but we like the combo that Johnson Estate Winery in Westfield, New York, dreamt up — peaches and champagne.

Pour approximately 1⁄4 cup of Johnson Estate Passionate Peach wine in a champagne glass. Add 1⁄4 cup peach juice — or even better, puréed, peeled peaches, well-chilled. Add 1⁄4 cup Sparkling Traminette (or your favorite sparkling wine or champagne) and garnish the rim of the glass with a slice of fresh peach.  

Peach Pie with Crumble Top
The classic peach pie is hard to beat, and the bakers at Icing on the Lake in Erie, Pennsylvania, have absolutely perfected it. 

Pie crust for 9-inch pie (store bought is fine)
(for filling)
5 cups sliced fresh peaches (about 9-10 medium peaches)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. of ground cinnamon
 (for topping)
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup firm butter
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare filling. Mix peaches and lemon juice. Mix sugar, flour, cornstarch and cinnamon; stir into peaches. Turn into pastry-lined pie plate. Make crumble top by mixing the flour, butter and brown sugar with a fork. Top the pie filling with the crumble top. Bake 50 minutes. Cover topping with aluminum foil during last 10 minutes of baking. Best served warm!

Peach Chocolate Chip Cookies
Nicole Burns of the Ontario food blog The Yummy Kitchen decided on a whim to try adding peaches to chocolate chip cookies. Her family loved them — and the recipe is as easy as the original. 

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 ½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ¾ cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup milk chocolate chips
Ontario peach, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda. Set aside. Beat together the butter and sugars until thick and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips and chopped peach. Place large dollops (2-3 tablespoons) of dough on the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between each. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown, and the center is slightly soft. 

Peaches and Peppers Cooked in Foil with Chicken
Peaches do savory better than just about any other fruit we can think of. And this recipe, courtesy of the Ontario Produce Marketing Association, makes an ideal summer entree. 

1 cup finely diced peach (about 2 peaches)
1/3 cup finely diced red pepper
¼ cup ketchup
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 clove minced garlic
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup orange juice (or bourbon!)
¼ tsp. dry mustard
½ tbsp. dried red pepper flakes, optional
Salt and pepper to taste
6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs or 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except peaches, peppers and chicken in a bowl. Mix in peaches and pepper. This is your barbecue sauce; set aside. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and evenly divide in the center of 4 pieces of foil. Top each parcel with 4-5 tablespoons of barbecue sauce. Carefully wrap parcels and place on a baking sheet to cook in the oven. Cook until chicken is 165 degrees (about 25 minutes). You can also cook the parcels on a grill or over a campfire. Enjoy in a pita with rice, lettuce, green onion and a little bit of grated cheese. Or, spoon over rice or grain of your choice.