Three peachy recipes, just in time for Parker County’s annual festival

Posted Saturday, Jul. 12, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

Parker County Peach Festival

• 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday

• Downtown Weatherford

• Admission is $5, free age 12 and younger.


Parker County peach cheesecake

Serves 10-12

• Graham cracker crust (recipe follows)

• 4 small Parker County peaches (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled, pitted and sliced 1/4 inch thick

• 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/4 cups sugar

• 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature

• 1/2 cup peach schnapps

• 4 large eggs

• Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean

• Peach glaze (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare crust.

2. Combine peaches and 2 tablespoons sugar in large, heavy saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and peaches are juicy, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until peaches are tender and juices thicken, about 5 more minutes.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add 1 1/4 cups sugar and beat until smooth. Add peach schnapps and beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in vanilla bean seeds.

4. Spoon half of cream cheese mixture (about 3 cups) into prepared crust. Add peaches and top with remaining cream cheese mixture. Bake until puffed and set in the center and when it’s beginning to brown, about one hour. Place hot cheesecake on rack and cool 5 minutes. Run small sharp knife around pan sides to loosen. Place uncovered cheesecake on rack in refrigerator and chill overnight. (May be made two days in advance. To store, cover and keep chilled.)

5. Once chilled, remove springform pan sides and place cheesecake on serving platter. Spread glaze over top of cheesecake to within 1/4 inch of edge. Chill cheesecake until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.

Graham cracker crust

• 15 graham crackers

• 5 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whirl graham crackers in a food processor to create coarse crumbs. Add butter and process until evenly moistened. Press crumbs over bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch springform pan that’s 2 3/4 inches high. Bake crust until it begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Peach glaze

• 1-2 Parker County peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced

• 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Combine peaches and lemon juice in small, heavy saucepan. Stir over medium heat until glaze comes to simmer. Strain into small bowl and keep chilled until ready to use.

Note: Nutritional analysis unavailable.

— The Wild Mushroom, 1917 Martin Drive, Weatherford, 817-599-4935;

Mommy’s peach cobbler

Serves 4-6

• 3/4 cup butter

• 4 cups fresh peaches, peeled and sliced

• 2 cups sugar, divided

• 1/2 cup water

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 1 teaspoon baking powder

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1 cup evaporated milk (chef Jeri Lionberger uses PET brand)

1. Melt butter in 9-by-9-inch baking dish and set aside.

2. Combine peaches, 1 cup sugar and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. (A 15-ounce can of peaches in syrup may be substituted for this step.)

3. Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, baking powder and salt together and whisk thoroughly. Add evaporated milk and mix well.

4. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and spread out evenly with a spoon. Pour peaches with juices into the middle of the batter. Do not mix — gently spread peaches throughout the dish.

5. Bake at 350 degrees until brown and bubbly, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Note: Nutritional analysis unavailable.

— Jeri’s Back Home Bakery, 316 Santa Fe Drive, Weatherford, 817-594-4003;

Seared scallops with butter-poached local onions and pickled Parker County peaches

Serves 2

• 1 cup white wine vinegar

• 1 tablespoon sea salt, plus more to taste

• 1 teaspoon local honey

• 1 ripe Parker County freestone peach, thinly sliced

• 4 ounces unsalted butter

• 6 medium-size bulb onions with tops, halved lengthwise

• 2 teaspoons olive oil

• 4 day boat scallops, patted dry with paper towels

1. In a small saucepan, bring vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt and honey to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand 2 minutes. Place mixture with peach slices in a small bowl and refrigerate until cool.

2. In a medium saucepan over low to medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and add onions. While stirring, add a pinch of salt to release moisture from onions. When onions have softened, add remaining butter, lower heat and allow onions to simmer until they become fork-tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium saute pan over high heat, heat olive oil until small wisps of smoke come from the pan. Season scallops with a small amount of salt and use tongs to place in pan. After approximately 45 seconds, place scallops in preheated oven for 2 minutes. Remove from oven and flip scallops using tongs. Leave in hot pan for about 15 to 20 seconds, then remove from pan and place on a paper towel.

To serve, strain excess butter from the onions over two plates. Top plates with onions, then scallops. Strain the chilled peaches and place randomly around each plate.

Note: Nutritional analysis unavailable.

— Fire Oak Grill, 114 Austin Ave., Weatherford, 817-598-0400;

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

More than 30,000 peach lovers will descend upon downtown Weatherford today for the 30th annual Parker County Peach Festival, which features food booths, arts and crafts, children’s activities, and live music.

But this year, patrons are in for an especially sweet time. Thanks to a relatively mild spring that was mostly free from late freezes and hailstorms, Parker County peach orchards have produced a bumper crop — the first in many seasons. This means the area’s signature fruit will be in abundant supply, ripe for the picking amid the festival’s numerous peach vendors.

When choosing the best for your bushel, look for peaches that are fragrant, firm and spot-free. And for those that aren’t eaten on the car ride back home, use these peachy recipes shared by some of Parker County’s most prominent culinary pros.

Parker County peach cheesecake

Jerrett Joslin

Owner and executive chef, The Wild Mushroom

Chef Jerrett Joslin goes over the top for his chilled peach cheesecake, which is generously stuffed and glazed with fresh Parker County peaches and infused with a hefty splash of peach schnapps to provide an extra jolt of peach flavor. Freshly scraped vanilla bean seeds and a scratch-made graham cracker crust elevate this homemade dessert to restaurant-quality.

Mommy’s peach cobbler

Jeri Lionberger

Owner, Jeri’s Back Home Bakery

Former schoolteacher Jeri Lionberger believes her grandmother’s, or “Mommy’s,” peach cobbler is a Depression-era recipe because of its short and simple ingredient list, which originally called for canned peaches. Lionberger opened her popular Weatherford bakery six years ago and says she has enjoyed this incredibly easy-to-make dessert, which doesn’t require any kneading, dough rolling or intricate lattice work, both as a child when grandmother made it and as an adult when she has prepared it for her own children.

Seared scallops with butter-poached local onions and pickled Parker County peaches

Eric Hunter

Owner and executive chef, Fire Oak Grill

Fire Oak Grill chef Eric Hunter uses just vinegar, local honey and sea salt to quick-pickle his Parker County peaches and add a sweet and sour component to his savory scallop entree. Pickled peaches are popular throughout the South and serve not only as a tangy addition to seafood dishes and salads but as a tart topper for grilled pork chops or sweet relish for burgers. Hunter recommends using freestone peaches, which have pits that don’t cling to the fruit flesh, although any Parker County peach will do.

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