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Peaches into pie

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Toigo Orchard peaches
Become a most delicious pie, served with caramel-y lucuma ice cream.

Tip of the day:  Weave pastry strips for a lattice crust pie on a piece of parchment or wax paper, then flip the whole thing over on top of the pie.  There will be a lot less cursing involved.

Harvest is in

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More or less. The grapevines that grow with abandon in my Brooklyn backyard, climbing up the entire height of the three-story brownstone, have yielded their harvest for the year. It’s a rather pitiful crop in comparison to past seasons, given the extreme weather we’ve been having. But it’s still fascinating how the vines, a remnant of the neighborhood’s Italian heritage, can grow wild and produce fruit, totally untended. Who knew? I always thought grapes were like roses, needing constant pampering and tender-loving care. Turns out both are more resilient than their reputations let on.

So, not enough grapes this year to test their variety and experiment with wine, but the grape leaves are still plentiful and tender.  Ideas for stuffing them?

Tropical weather brings tropical fruit

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A bushel of guava appeared at the local gourmet store down the street Saturday, and was gone by the time I returned Sunday, after checking on how to judge if guava is ripe. Some kind of tropical fruit trend in full swing? Kate has cornered the market in lucuma (a Chilean/Peruvian fruit with creamy flesh that tastes of caramel and cashew) and guanaba at her local bodega.  Ice cream and sorbet tests to come.