Skip to content

Cooking Summer Peaches at Casa Navarro

September 21, 2015

With temperatures still in the 90s, it feels like summer is far from over in San Antonio.  This week’s post features guest blogger Emiliano Calderon, Site Educator at Casa Navarro State Historic Site, located in downtown San Antonio as he cooks with summer’s favorite fruit, peaches.

by Emiliano Calderon

The peach tree at Casa Navarro State Historic Site produced a wonderful and tasty abundance of fruit that was enjoyed by site visitors, neighbors and wildlife in downtown San Antonio. By the end of June, most of the fruit was gone but we saved a few dozen peaches to try a recipe from the UTSA Libraries Mexican Cookbook Collection.

We found a recipe for Salsa de Ciruelas (plum sauce) in a book titled Recetas Practicas para La Señora de Casa, published in 1890. We adapted the recipe using peaches since they are also a stone fruit, and were more commonly grown in South Texas. The recipe (below) was vague, but once translated from Spanish to English was simple to make.

Las ciruelas se ponen con agua en la lumbre, y una raja de canela, á que den unos hervores, y se puedan deshacer y deshuesar en la misma agua con una cuchara. Despues se les pone … azúcar.[1]

The recipe calls for the fruit to be boiled over a fire with water and a cinnamon stick. Once the fruit is soft enough, it can be pitted and broken up with a spoon. Finally, add sugar and serve. In our experiment, we boiled the peaches, cinnamon and water in a cast iron pot for approximately 45 minutes over an open fire. We removed the seeds with a spoon once the fruit became soft enough and placed the peaches back over the fire to simmer longer, approximately 30 minutes. This made the peaches into a sauce similar to that found in peach cobblers. We then put the peach sauce into a clay pot and added sugar.

The sauce had a bittersweet taste due to the combination of the freshly picked peaches and sugar, but tasted great when used as you would a jam or jelly. Should you be interested in reproducing the recipe at home, we recommend waiting until your fruit is very ripe as it will be sweeter when boiled down.

Casa Navarro State Historic Site  is located at 228 South Laredo Street in downtown San Antonio, along the Texas Independence and Hill Country Trail Regions.

DSC_0369

Peaches and cinnamon before being boiled in water.

Peaches and cinnamon boiling in a cast iron pot.Peaches and cinnamon boiling in a cast iron pot.

Peaches and cinnamon boiling in a cast iron pot.

Peach sauce boiling over fire after seeds were removed.

Peach sauce boiling over fire after seeds were removed.

Peach sauce boiling over fire after seeds were removed.

Peach sauce served in clay pot with sugar added.

Peach sauce served in clay pot with sugar added.

[1] 1890. Recetas practicas para la señora de casa: Sobre cocina, reposteria, pasteles, neveria, etc., etc. Guadalajara: Tip. de M. Pérez Lete. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Culinary Curator

Being a Journal of Narratives and Discoveries

Feast of the Centuries

Cooking throughout the Ages

Cynthia D. Bertelsen's Gherkins & Tomatoes

A Writer's Musings on History and Culture

What's Cookin' @ Special Collections?!

Special Collections @ Virginia Tech Culinary History Blog!

%d bloggers like this: