Chow Town

Missouri crop of cling peaches hitting farmers’ markets

The Missouri crop of cling peaches is in and they are worth driving to pick up a peck.

Who wants supermarket rocks that have to ripen in a brown bag when you can get sun-ripened-on-a-tree juice bombs?

Cling peaches are delicious for fresh eating, pies and also canning. They take more work to slice or halve than freestones, but the taste is worth it.

Freestone peaches are larger and ripen later — look for them in early August. If you like freezing sliced peaches for winter desserts, freestone peaches freeze better than cling peaches because they have less juice.

You can find fresh cling peaches at area farmers markets this weekend, or if you want a nice drive in the country, you can drive to Schreiman Orchards in Waverly, Mo. and Sibley Orchards in Sibley, Mo. Baskets full of “seconds” are a bargain for canning and pies.

Cling peaches are my favorite for adding to homemade ice cream. Just peel the peaches and slice off chunks directly into your ice cream mixture before putting it in the freezer.

Cindy Hoedel writes for the Kansas City Star Magazine, grows food on a half acre of land in the Flint Hills, bakes her own bread, makes killer dill pickles and sand hill plum jelly, and blogs about sustainability.

Related stories from Kansas City Star