In the U.S., fresh, domestically grown peaches are available from late May to early October. While you can find peaches at the grocery during the off-season, they're usually from the Southern Hemisphere, and the long shipping times compromise their sweetness. Luckily there are plenty of preserved peach products out there to carry you through the cold months. Whether packed in a nectarlike syrup, simmered into a fruity jam, dehydrated for a chewy snack, or flash frozen, these peaches add almost as much flavor to some of our favorite recipes as the fresh ones do. Here are our favorites:
1. Dried: White Lady peaches are sourced from California for Trader Joe's Dried White Peaches. These skin-on halves retain their sweetness with air-drying, while taking on a pleasant leathery chew. A great snack, they're also a tasty addition to pastries and savory soups.
2. Canned Whole: Harvested late in the season when they're perfectly ripe and preserved in a light, not-too-sweet syrup, Peaches Niagara from Niagara Falls, New York-based** DiCamillo Bakery** are almost as good as the fresh fruit. Firm enough to slice, they're great on their own, as well as roasted with pork shoulder for a pulled pork sandwich.
3. Preserved: With tiny, juicy bits of peach suspended in a syrupy jam, Fredericksburg, Ohio's** Mrs. Miller's Homemade Peach Jam** tastes as fruit-forward as any batch you'll find at the local farmers' market, with none of the cloying sweetness of supermarket brands.
4. Frozen: These Whole Foods 365 brand sliced peaches are flash frozen so they retain their fresh, floral taste. They're perfect in baked goods such as cobblers, where their texture remains pleasingly firm.