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August 15, 2009



Fresh, local, delicious peaches are not yet available around me.

Do you have any tips on how to ripen up those rock-hard grocery store specimens without them turning to mush? (Or do I just need to be patient?)

Ms. Glaze

Drago – Great question, because this recipe clearly relies on ripe peaches – not those mushy mealy things that some super markets pass off as stone fruit. If the peach is rock hard but fragrant (pick up and smell) normally they will ripen on your countertop in a day or two. If there is no peach perfume, then stay clear.

Many supermarkets (Whole Food especially) will give you a taste of one if you ask. Not only is it a great way to get a quick snack, but it also lets you check under cover before shilling out ten dollars or more.

Ms. Glaze

Drago – There are some farmers, like Frog Hollow, which allow the peaches to ripen on the tree as long as possible so their sugars will be at a peak when picked. I'm not quite sure what the East Coast equivalent is?!?! Does anyone know?!?!


J'adore les pêches! Especialment avec des myrtilles dans une tarte. But I grew up in the South, and there is nothing like a totally ripe peach fresh off the tree for out of hand eating. This is one of the few fruits for which I'm willing to go through the hassle of preparing a gluten-free crust. And it's going to be HOT again this week out here, so I'm thinking I'd better get one made today, so I can eat it all week long...J'ai la pêche!


I personally find it worth it to wait it out for local peaches. Not sure where you are Drago, but the start of the peaches are already hitting our farmer's market in Boston.

I love the homey, rustic look of that cobbler.

Ms. Glaze

Kelly – I'm trying to get more acquainted with East Coast produce. Do you have any favorite stone fruit farmers?

SAS – Care to share your gluten free crust recipe? I'm curious what you use instead of flour. Rice flour?


I'd be happy to share the recipe - but it's after midnight just now, so I'll look it up tomorrow. Generally you have to use a blend of flours in GF baking, plus some sort of additive such as xanthan gum or guar gum. It's a bit of a fuss, which is why I save it for special occasions. I've also found a few good commercial GF pie crust mixes, but they cost a fortune, so I only use those when I'm feeling flush or desperate for time. The one good thing about GF crusts is that since there isn't any gluten, you can mix it as long as you like, and it won't get tough. :>


I had a dream the other night ... peach ice cream with crispy duck skin wafers.... I reckon it's worth a try, make the duck skin slightly sweet (like Peking duck except that the glaze is star anise, cinnamon and sugar). However, I don't know how to make thin duck skin wafers!

Ms. Glaze

Jeremy – I think you could make the wafers pretty easily! Take the skin off the duck, scrape off any excess fat underneath. Cut to the shape you want and place between 2 baking sheets with something heavy to weigh down on the the top one. Bake until crispy and flat. Meanwhile reduce duck jus with some peach jus until thick (like a lacquer) and spoon over wafers. Let it set and then spoon a second coat over. I like your idea, send pics if you do it! Peking peach ice cream?


Right on with the technique for candying duck skin and making it super flat and crispy. I do this with bacon, especially candied bacon.


T'as la pêche is much nicer than suggesting to a VP that "c'est qui ton papa?" is an appropriate greeting for senior staff (who says I don't have fun at work).

Anyway, another alternative for the duck skin wafer is Blumenthal's method to sew it onto a cake rack and cook at low temp; it's a lot more work but this generates a crispy consistency where the crunchy skin "shatters" when chewed. I'll see about securing some peaches for the glaze the next time I do this.

Duck with duck skin and peach granité. Or a Baked Alaska variant with peach ice cream inside a flaming crispy duck skin ball.

Ms. Glaze

Wattacetti – I've ever heard that expression. Is that like "Who's your daddy"!?!?! LOL!!! I shilled out big bucks for that Blumenthal cookbook. I'll have to go back and read that recipe. The one that really grossed me out is the rabbit ear chips. Yuck.


It is indeed a literal translation of "who's your daddy?" but probably not a phrase to be yelling while doing your mise en place.

The duck on a cake rack trick is in the "Further Adventures in Search of Perfection" book; Heston makes Peking duck. There's also one of the most complicated cheeseburger recipes available if you happen to have some free time on your hands.

I still haven't cracked open my copy of the Big Fat Duck (or Alinea or Under Pressure), but I think Heston got the ear idea from el Bulli.


I am saving up for an ice cream machine (though I get the hots for a Pacojet) - and I thought well, if duck goes with typical dessert fruits, why not the other way round? What happens if you have sauternes jelly with foie gras streaks? Pigeon with beetroot jelly? Lamb and mint ice?

This is all Heston's fault. Should desserts always be sweet? Bacon and egg ice cream changed my life.

Mad William

Hello Ms.G
I've been gone for a while. Love all the recipes, but OMG your foot! That's horrible. Are you alright? I mean I know your going back to work but...
Burns were the worst part of working in kitchens. It's been eight years and I can still see my scars.
Sorry, I hope that doesn't sound insensitive. Just hope you're ok.
And you'll be great at the new post. You're a pro. Knock em out.

All my best

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I personally find it worth it to wait it out for local peaches. Not sure where you are Drago, but the start of the peaches are already hitting our farmer's market in Boston.

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