I’ve said it before, but I love me some pickles. Unfortunately, most store-bought pickles have some form of sugar in them. So do most of my homemade pickle recipes. (I see a whole lotta recipe revamping comin’ on.)
This spiced peach recipe, however, is not one that I’ve made before now. I found it while searching for new ways to use my fresh chocolate mint. If you haven’t tried chocolate mint yet, I highly recommend it. I steep it in warmed coconut milk in the evening, and I also used it to make this gluten-free chocolate mint snack cake.
My inspiration recipe started with canned peaches in syrup. Looking for a healthier alternative, I chose to use fresh peaches. Remember – I’m kicking my sugar addiction here. I also made some substitutions with the spices to use what I had in my pantry. One of the things I love about pickling is that you can customize it to suit your taste. You also know exactly what is going into the food that you eat, when you use whole, fresh ingredients.
Aren’t they gorgeous? I almost couldn’t wait the 24 hours in the fridge before trying my first bite. Patience is not my virtue. But then I decided that eating a too-sour, too-unpickled slice too soon would be a waste of peach. It’s all about choices.
If you don’t have chocolate mint, you can substitute regular fresh mint. You could also double, triple, or quadruple the recipe, if you have a bounty of peaches while they are in season. I think these would also do well, if you wanted to preserve them for a longer period of time through a sterile canning process. Me? Remember, I’m not patient. A quick, refrigerator pickle is more my style. But let me know how they turn out, and I will envy your canning prowess. And admire your patience.
Spiced Pickled Peaches
Adapted from Skirt in the Kitchen
3 sprigs fresh chocolate mint
1 cinnamon stick
1-inch fresh ginger, sliced
1 c. rice vinegar
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground allspice
1/8 t. red pepper flakes
1/4 t. whole cloves
1/4 t. whole peppercorns
1/8 t. anise seed
1/2 t. sea salt
In the bottom of a pint jar, place the mint, cinnamon stick, and sliced ginger. Set aside.
Place enough water to cover the peaches when they are submerged in a medium saucepan. Bring the water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut a small “X” at the bottom of each peach. Place a medium-side bowl of ice water near the stove top. When water is boiling, submerge the peaches for 30-40 seconds. Remove the peaches from the boiling water and place in the ice water bowl for approximately a minute. Remove the peaches from the ice water and pat dry with a clean cloth or paper towels. The skins should easily slip off, but use a paring knife for any spots that don’t easily peel.
Slice the peeled peaches in half and remove the pits. Fill the prepared jar with the sliced peaches. If they don’t all fit, set them aside. You may be able to sneak more in once the liquid is poured over the peaches.
In a small saucepan, bring rice vinegar and the next 8 ingredients to a boil. Remove from heat and pour the vinegar mixture over peaches in the prepared jar. If you had any leftover peach slices, try to fit them in now.
Put the lid on the jar and allow the peaches to come to room temperature. Place the cooled jar in the refrigerator and allow to “pickle” for at least 24 hours. The peaches will keep for about a month in the refrigerator.