Peachy Summer Sweets

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By Deirdre Bourdet

NAPA, CA - All too frequently, people complain that it's too hot to eat dessert. While I'd agree that a chunk of bread pudding is probably the last thing I would choose to end a meal in 90+ degree heat, there are tons of refreshing sweet finales to be had around the Valley at this time of year--and many of them involve peaches, my favorite summertime fruit.
lefticecreamtubs.jpgI was delighted to hear that Neal Gottleib of Three Twins' Organic Ice Cream in the Oxbow Market has made last year's fantasy of roasted peach ice cream a delicious reality.  Imagine the pure, creamy richness one normally expects from Three Twins, with a dark, luscious edge of caramelized peaches at the height of their glory.  This stuff should be served for breakfast at all local B&Bs during the summer season.   However, since production levels are still very small even after the completion of the new Petaluma factory, eating a sundae of this delectable stuff while looking out at the old Copia orchards that inspired it is probably the best way to go.  Add a scoop of the Honey Lavender, Crème Fraîche, or Dad's Cardamom ice cream to round things out, or opt for tangy Plum Sorbet as a lighter companion for your peaches.

Main Street in downtown Napa also offers a few worthy contenders for best peach dessert.  Ubuntu Restaurant is currently conjuring the perfect essence of summer sweetness with their glazed peach and cool corn pudding. Sweet peak of the season corn is cooked into succulent submission.  The thick, creamy and buttery puree is then paved with glazed slices of perfect Frog Hollow peaches, a scoop of housemade goat's milk ice cream, and a garnish of crispy popcorn streusel and bursting fresh blackberries. A rhapsody of butter, corn, and peach, perfectly balanced with tart, juicy, and crunchy. If you're craving a more savory peach treat, check out the marinated beet salad with caramelized red top peaches, lavender congee cakes, whipped yogurt, calaloo amaranth, and crunchy succulents.

peachpie.jpgSweetie Pie's Bakery in the Historic Napa Mill complex is known for their seasonal fruit pies, and most particularly their pumpkin version, but the peach and berry pie on offer this time of year is a classic that should not be missed either.  Guests at the adjoining Napa River Inn Hotel should beeline for the Peach Blueberry scones at breakfast time (if they can resist the chocolate peanut butter whoopee pies that draw people in like moths to flame).

Last, but certainly not least, visit the farmer's markets in Napa or St. Helena to pick up furry local peaches to enjoy au naturel, juicy and messy and warm from the sun.  Napa markets happen at the Oxbow market on Tuesday and Saturday mornings (and downtown First Street on Thursday nights during the summer), while St. Helena's market takes place Friday mornings from 7:30 to noon.

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1 Comments

oh, did you hit a nerve. love getting as many homegrown peaches as i can this time of year and thanks for the local tips on restaurants who do something wonderful and different to our furry summertime friends!
I'll be back in town on monday, hope to see you and A soon!
K

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