Where I live – in the province of New Brunswick, on the east coast of Canada – you cannot grow peaches.
Oh sure, there may be the occasional coddled tree hidden away somewhere. I saw one once about two hours east of here.
It stopped me in my tracks. The color ‘peach’ is so soft and beautiful and nuanced. But what struck me most was how well loved that tree must have been.
To have survived this taciturn climate, and even more, yield a crop. It must have been a very generous heart had tended that single tree.
Several years later I walked past that same spot, but the tree was gone.
Oh, it’s melodramatic, but peaches have always seemed to be just so ephemeral. A glimpse into a world that is not here. A something hinted at just beyond.
When the peaches from Ontario make their way into our local stores, summer has already peaked on this coast. Even though the weather is still warm, there’s a wind that comes up in August, and the waves are quicker at the shore.
One batch of peach jam sits from those still long days – summer in a jar. To be pulled out when needed.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup oatmeal
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup butter, cut in small cubes
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1-1/2 cups good quality peach jam
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Grease a 9" square baking pan.
- In bowl of food processor, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, oatmeal and almonds.
- Pulse ingredients to mix and break up almonds.
- Add butter and sprinkle olive oil over mixture.
- Pulse until mixture forms small crumbs.
- Reserve 1-1/2 cups of the crumb mixture. Pat the remainder firmly in bottom of the greased pan.
- In a small bowl, combine jam and orange zest. Spread over crumb mixture in pan.
- Top with reserved crumbs and pat down.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown.
- Let cool completely, then cut into squares to serve.