For Peach Sake

Chappell Peaches brings their fresh picks to the Cary Downtown Farmers Market.

It’s peach season in the Carolinas, and you know what that means: It’s time to ap-peach-iate the sweet and juicy fruit that makes the perfect summer snack, whether it’s in ice cream, salad, salsa, pizza (I said what I said), or dangling from a tree, ripe for picking.

Before we get into it, it’s probably a good time to hit you with some stone fruit facts. According to the USDA, NC is the 7th top producer of peaches nationally, producing an average of 3.6 million pounds for the fresh market each year. It’s no surprise that NC grows amazing peaches — our hot, humid summers are ideal for growing stellar peach trees. The average NC peach season lasts for four months, spanning from June to September, and common NC peach varieties include Biscoe, Candor, Carolina Belle, Derby, and Norman. Believe me, they’re all delicious.

This issue was not a fruitless endeavor. In these pages we have covered all things peach, from a Q&A with a local peach farmer, endless peach puns that will make your dad proud, and fresh, seasonal recipes that will leave you speachless.

Spreadable Delights

Adilah Shabazz, owner of Spreadable Delights, sets up a scrumptious display of peach and pear preserves.

Looking for delicious, local products to satisfy your sweet tooth? Adilah Shabazz, owner of Spreadable Delights, is a purveyor of preserves, jams, salsa, sweets, treats, and more! This year, Shabazz’s peach offerings include peach jam, peach preserves, peach salsa, and peach syrup.

The perfect topping for a warm biscuit or a bowl of cold ice cream, these summery preserves have a shelf life that will get you through the colder months!

“I like to eat my preserves with biscuits, different breads, ice cream, or simply by themselves when I have a taste for something sweet,” said Shabazz. “I vacuum seal the jars so you can keep them on the shelf for up to two years — to get that summery peach taste in the winter time, for example. Most of my preserves can also be used over meats as marinades.”

At the moment, Shabazz’s peach salsa is only available to friends or by special order, but lucky for all of us, Shabazz understands that sharing is caring.

Peach Salsa

1 pound tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 bell pepper (4 ounces)
2 jalapenos
1 ½ pounds peaches
½ bunch cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 ½ teaspoon salt (I prefer sea salt)
¼ teaspoon black pepper (to your taste)

Chop tomatoes and finely chop onion. Remove seeds and chop the bell pepper and jalapenos (reserve some seeds from the jalapenos for a spicier salsa).Transfer all veggies to a bowl.

Wash the peaches well and dice (no need to remove the skins). Chop cilantro, and add peaches and cilantro to the bowl, along with lime juice, salt, and pepper. Fold everything together. Mix well. Enjoy with tortilla chips, crackers, pita chips, or whatever you prefer. Feel free to add a dash of chili pepper or powder if you want the salsa hotter!

Skipper’s Homemade Peach Cobbler

Topped with a buttery crumble, Skipper’s homemade peach cobbler is as good as it looks!

Celebrate summer with a mouthwatering plate of peach cobbler from the family-owned Skipper’s Seafood & Smokehouse in Apex!

“The peaches are topped with a buttery crumble, creating a delightful treat that will have you coming back for seconds,” said owner A.J. Dalola. “It’s the perfect way to enjoy summer’s best taste of peaches. It’s best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.”

It might seem counterintuitive to hit up a seafood place for dessert, but trust us, this cobbler is a game changer — plus, you can always pick up a giant fish sandwich and a barbecue plate while you’re there.

Peach, Please: Peach-Inspired Treats

Chatham Hill Winery’s Sweet Carolina Peach

Perfect out of the bottle or mixed with sparkling wine and frozen fruit for a summery peach sangria.

SweeTea Boba & Ice Peach Slush. Contributed photo

Peach-Inspired Floral Arrangements at Preston Flowers

“When I think of summer, I think of peaches. At our shop we take inspiration from memories and feelings about anything from travel to food.” —Barbara McKinnon, owner

SweeTea Boba & Ice

Try the Peach Green Tea with Crystal Boba and Mango Star Jelly or the Peach Slush with Mango Popping Boba and Sea Salt Milk Cap.

Peach Black Tea

Described by Tin Roof Teas as a “delicate fusion of sweet, sun-ripened peaches and crisp afternotes of our classic black tea.”

BE Bakery’s Peaches and Cream Roll

Visit their stand at the Cary Downtown Farmers Market for a sweet treat or order online at

BE Bakery’s Peaches and Cream Roll

Howdy Homemade Ice Cream

Try their peach flavored ice cream in downtown Cary for a sweet summer treat!

La Farm’s Peach Challah & Peach Tea

Fill up on peach challah and cool down with a glass of peach tea, courtesy of La Farm Bakery.

Newsflash: Carbs don’t count during peach season! La Farm’s incredible challah bread is filled with peach-infused pastry cream and topped with an oat strudel made with Carolina Ground’s whole wheat bread flour. This sweet treat can (and should) be paired with a refreshing glass of peach tea, the perfect complement to everything from berry scones and peach challah to a peach-chipotle barbecue sandwich or flatbread.

Did you know?

Richard Daw doesn’t waste any time before sampling a juicy peach at the Cary Downtown Farmers Market.

  • August is National Peach Month!
  • The peach originated in China and has been cultivated since at least 1000 BC.
  • In China, the peach is a symbol of good luck, protection, and longevity.
  • Peach fuzz acts as a defense mechanism.
  • Peach cobbler is a uniquely American dessert, invented in the 1800s.
  • Peach trees produce fruit for about 12 years.

Chappell Peaches: Just Off the Peach-en Path

Fresh and flavorful peaches, straight from the orchard

As much as we love to eat them, we defer to the experts when it comes to growing and picking the perfect peach. Meet the family behind Chappell Peaches, a fourth-generation peach farm located in the Sandhills of NC.

Introduce yourself!

My name is Ken Chappell, and I am a fourth-generation peach farmer. My family and I operate Chappell Peaches, an orchard and roadside stand in the Sandhills.

What do you love about peaches?

Peaches are a perfect summer delicacy. With their fragrant aroma and sweet, juicy flavor, they are an ideal treat for warm-weather months.

How long have you been growing peaches?

I have been growing peaches for over 45 years. I grew up on my father’s peach farm and started managing it for him after I completed my education.

Where can our readers purchase your peaches?

This season, our peaches are available at Cary Downtown Farmers Market, Chapel Hill Farmers Market, South Durham Farmers Market, State Farmers Market (with McLamb Family Farms), and our roadside stand in Eagle Springs.

11-month-old Juniper LeBlanc enjoys a fresh peach with mom Chloe at the Cary Downtown Farmers Market.

What are some tips for growing and/or finding the perfect peach?

We like to pick a firm, fairly ripe peach that has lots of color. When shopping for peaches, it’s best to choose one that’s neither green nor too soft, as those are indications of under- or over-ripeness.

Ken Chappell’s nephew, Avery Jackson, displays the farm’s fresh pickings at the Cary Downtown Farmers Market.

What is your favorite peach-based recipe?

My wife, Rhonda, loves to make this peach and blueberry cobbler!

4 cups peaches
½ cup blueberries
1 ½ cups sugar (divided)
½ cup butter (divided)
¾ cup plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder pinch of salt
¾ cup milk

Mix sliced peaches and blueberries with 1 cup sugar; set aside. Heat oven to 350. Melt butter in a 2-quart baking dish. Combine ½ cup sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and milk. Pour over melted butter. Put sugared fruit on top. Bake for 1 hour.

Chef Corner with Mitch Samples

Chef Mitch Samples hands out free samples of his peach-inspired cocktail to farmers market patrons.

After years of working in the restaurant industry, Chef Mitch Samples, board vice president of the Cary Downtown Farmers Market (CDFM), relies on the market’s season-sensitive offerings to provide accessible recipes to the community every other week via CDFM’s Chef’s Corner. At the market, patrons are encouraged to stop by his table and taste his creations in person — but in case you missed it, Chef Samples shares his tasty and innovative peach-inspired menu below.

Farmers Market Peach Buzz

Farmers Market Peach Buzz

1 ½ ounces golden rum
1 ounce Krupnikas
3 ounces fresh peach puree*
3 ounces (approx.) ginger ale
cinnamon stick

Fill shaker halfway with ice and add the first 3 ingredients. Shake well, about 10 seconds. Strain over ice into Collins glass and top with ginger ale. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

Notes: I prefer Reed’s Real Ginger Ale, but use what you like.

I’m using Kill Devil Pecan and Honey Rum.

Krupnikas is a spiced honey liqueur popular in Poland and Lithuania. I’m using a spirit from The Brothers Vilgalys, produced in Durham.

Easy Peachy Custard Pie

2 sheets honey graham crackers (about 1 ½ cups once finely ground)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

In a food processor, blend graham crackers until the consistency of fine sand. Add sugar and pulse to combine. Empty into a mixing bowl, and pour in melted butter. Mix with a fork to blend well, or until the texture of wet sand.

Empty the crumb mixture into an ungreased 9-inch pie pan, and spread evenly. Press the mixture across the bottom of the pie plate and up the sides. When it is evenly distributed, pack it tight with a spoon or a cup. Using your fingers, gently press sides into the pie plate until the crumb holds together uniformly.

Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before adding any filling.

3 egg yolks
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
6 ounces peach puree*
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350.

Whip yolks and salt together in a mixing bowl until pale and slightly thickened, approximately 3–5 minutes. Add condensed milk and whip on high for about 3 minutes. The mixture will aerate and thicken. Thoroughly mix in the peach puree and lemon juice. Pour into the crust and bake for 25 minutes.

Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate at least 4 hours before glazing.

1 cup peach puree
½ cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons water

Bring peach puree, water, and lemon juice to a simmer. Mix in the sugar until it dissolves. Add the cornstarch slurry and simmer until it thickens a bit and is no longer cloudy. Cool to room temperature before using. It should be thick but spreadable.

Note: Feel free to use a store-bought graham cracker crust. They are perfectly acceptable, and it will save you time and effort for this otherwise very simple pie.

Peach Puree

Note: This recipe is used for the Farmers Market Peach Buzz and the Easy Peach Custard Pie.

Each large peach will make roughly 8 ounces of puree.

Drop whole fresh peaches into boiling water for about 45 seconds. Remove peaches to an ice water bath. Peel the skin off the peaches with your hands. Remove and discard the pit. Place the peach flesh in a blender or food processor and add 1 teaspoon lemon juice per peach. Blend until smooth.

Peach and Feta Salad

Chef Samples’ peach and feta salad is the perfect complement to any summertime spread.

3 peaches, diced
1 cup blueberries
1 English cucumber, cut into half moons
½ cup crumbled feta
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped shiso
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

In a large serving bowl, combine the peaches, blueberries, cucumbers, and feta.

In a jar with a lid, combine the lemon juice, Dijon, honey, olive oil, shiso, salt and pepper. Shake the vinaigrette until well combined.

Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and gently mix everything together. Taste for seasoning and garnish with extra shiso. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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