Are you looking for something different and wow-worthy for your holiday feast this year? Hot Curried Peaches make a stunning sauce for ham, pork, or turkey. Or just serve them over pan-fried pork chops or chicken breasts to turn an everyday meal into something extraordinary. Beautiful canned peaches are the star here. (Skip to recipe)
What's your favourite food to secretly eat, straight from the can with a spoon? Is it by any chance a can of sunshiny golden peaches? Mine is.
Juicy, slippery, sweet, and tasting of summer, I've always loved nothing better than to slurp up a bowl (or can) of this glorious preserved fruit. Yes, a juicy summer peach, ripe and heavy and still warm from the sun, with the golden nectar dripping down your arm as you eat it, is a little bit of fruit-heaven on earth. But unless you live right next to a peach orchard, that wonderful experience is pretty elusive.
Northern Alberta is a long way from those sunny fruit-growing climes. It's very rare that we can buy a really perfect fresh peach at the grocery store. So the next best thing is a peach that's been grown on family farms, picked at its peak of perfect ripeness, and popped into the can right there at the source - no lengthy weeks of shipping and storage. These little bundles of fresh flavour contain high levels of antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate.
And they taste fantastically fresh and fruity.
California cling peaches are picked and packed in their own juices, usually within 24 hours, to ensure they retain their appearance, texture, flavour, and nutritional content. Then they are shipped up to us to enjoy, year round. Most of the canned peaches we buy in our Canadian grocery stores are luscious California peaches.
This holiday season, I'm craving a bowl of these golden crescents, warm and spicy and juicy, to accompany our holiday ham or turkey. Cranberry sauce is great, but I think it's time for a change. Let's cause a mini food revolt! Let's start a new holiday tradition!
For our Christmas Eve feast I'll have to, of course, serve our traditional German Rouladen - the kids would protest if I served anything else. And for Christmas day, it's gotta be roast goose in this German household. But for Boxing Day I'll be feeding a huge crew, and a holiday ham or turkey will be the star of the show. As its crowning glory, I'll make up a big bowl of these wonderfully warm and spicy Hot Curried Peaches.
Sweet peach slices nestle together with chewy bits of tart dried cranberries in a bath of luscious sweet caramel, rich with curry and spices and tangy with a hit of mustard and apple cider vinegar - a veritable flavour explosion. I love how the canned cling peaches keep their shape and beautiful golden colour even when cooked. A big ladle of this zesty, fruity sauce draped over a slice of salty country ham or rich roasted turkey is a wonderful new holiday taste sensation (and if you need to convince those die-hard cranberry sauce fans, you can appease them by telling them that, hey, there are still cranberries in this sauce, too 😉 ).
I'll let you in on a secret - Hot Curried Peaches are not only delicious as part of a holiday feast. Try making up a batch of them the next time you pan-fry a few juicy, thick pork chops or roast up some chicken breasts or thighs. Serve them beside a beautiful, succulent roasted pork loin or some buttery sauteed pork tenderloins or tenderloin medallions. Sheer peachy heaven! A side dish of these curried peaches will turn any old ordinary meal into something pretty special.
And while you are roasting the ham and stirring the peach sauce, why not sip on a steaming cup of spiced rooibos peach tea? The juice from the peaches makes a most comfortingly delicious, warming drink.
Cheers and Guten Appetit!
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Thank you, California Cling Peaches, for sponsoring this post.
Kitchen Frau Notes: Don't waste the tasty juice you drain from your cans of peaches. Save 1 tablespoon of it for the cornstarch slurry, then use the rest of the juice to make a delicious hot drink - Spiced Peach Rooibos Tea (see the recipe below). Makes a wonderful sip for the cook and cook's helper! (If you want to add a splash of rum, I won't tell.)
And if you don't feel like making tea, simply add the peach juice to a pitcher of orange juice or any other juice or iced tea you have on hand. Or heat it and use it to make a regular cup of tea. Or freeze the juice in ice cubes to add to smoothies or baking, or use it to cook your porridge with instead of water.
Just don't dump that liquid gold down the drain!
- 2 cans (398ml/14 oz each) sliced peaches in light syrup or in pear juice, drained (juice reserved)
- ⅓ cup (75gms) butter
- ½ cup (100gms) light brown sugar
- ¼ cup (40gms) dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon curry powder (mild or medium heat)
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon reserved peach juice
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Pour the peaches into a sieve set over a bowl to catch the juices and let them drain while you prepare the sauce base. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the juice in a small bowl.
In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, dried cranberries, apple cider vinegar, curry powder, ginger, dry mustard, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The sauce will thicken and caramelize.
Add the drained peach slices and stir gently, so you don't break up the slices. The sauce will sizzle and thin out. Return to a simmer, then cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally very gently.
In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch into the reserved tablespoon of peach juice until smooth. Stir into the curried peaches and cook for one more minute, until thickened.
Serve hot over baked sliced ham, pan-fried pork chops, pork roast, turkey, or chicken.
Serves 4 to 6.
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Spiced Peach Rooibos Tea
- the juice drained from two (400ml/14oz) cans of peaches (~1 to 1¼ cups total)
- 1 cup water
- 3 thin slices of fresh lemon
- 3 thin slices of fresh ginger
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 teabags of rooibos tea
- honey to taste - optional
In a small saucepan, combine the peach juice, water, lemon slices, ginger slices, cloves, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat, add the rooibos tea bags, cover the saucepan, and let steep for 5 minutes.
Strain to remove the spices and tea bags. Sweeten to taste with honey, if desired. Pour into 2 mugs and serve hot.
Kitchen Frau Notes: You can substitute the 2 rooibos teabags with one regular black teabag.
This post is sponsored by California Cling Peaches. I was compensated for developing the recipe, but the writing and opinions are most definitely my own. I truly love eating and cooking with those luscious canned peaches.
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