I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The book is out June 25, just in time to catch the end of peach season, so hop on this one.
Stephen K. Rose and Jessica N. Rose have built a business selling Georgia peaches. They started selling out of their old pickup truck, hence the name, in Nashville, but have grown nationwide. In addition to selling at farmers markets, they also sell to Nashville restaurants. The recipes in this cookbook are a combination of recipes the authors have developed and recipes from restaurants who use their peaches. It’s a good thing and it gives a nice variety of recipes.
This would be a great book for anyone who loves peaches and wants to move beyond peach pie and peach cobbler, though those recipes are here too. You can order peaches from The Peach Truck online. I am fortunate to live close enough to Gillespie County, Texas to take advantage of Fredicksburg and Stonewall peaches. Growers are calling this year’s crop a good one, so I am excited to take advantage of my early access to this cookbook.
Lemon Peach Pound Cake
I have a friend who works at the farmer’s market on Saturdays. Because she loves me, she brought me a bunch of early peaches from Fredicksburg. I was happy to get them and asked for more, please so that I could test recipes in The Peach Truck Cookbook.
The peaches needed to be used immediately and were rather banged up, so I peeled and diced them and made the Lemon Peach Pound Cake found in The Sweet Stuff chapter. The recipe was created by Nashville pastry chef, Lisa Donovan. Based on this recipe alone I would buy any cookbook she may write. Donovan won a Beard award last year for her essay on her experiences with rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and misogyny in professional kitchens. As yet, she does not have a cookbook, so this one will do for now.
This pound cake recipe is a keeper. It was so good. There is a warning before the recipe that you are in danger of eating an entire loaf in one sitting. I thought it was an exaggeration. It was not. It’s a perfect everyday cake – not too sweet for breakfast, but sweet enough for after dinner dessert. It has a little cornmeal in it, which gives it a nice texture and flavor that goes well with the peaches. The peaches keep it moist and tender. It would have been more lemony if I had made the lemon glaze, but I found myself out of powdered sugar and too busy eating pound cake to go to the store. A friend and her brother were visiting and confirmed that this is an excellent cake. You would not be wrong to buy the cookbook for this recipe alone.
There is a whole chapter on different sauces and ways to preserve peaches past peach season called “Pantry: Your Future Self Thanks You.” Of the various preserves, jellies, jams, chutneys and such, I decided to try the Peach Ketchup. Ketchup is a way of preserving fruit, not just a sugary tomato condiment. I have never liked tomato ketchup, nor have I ever made any other kind of fruit ketchup. I halved the recipe and now I wish I hadn’t. I’ll probably make another batch later. It’s so good.
Peeled and sliced peaches are simmered with sweet onion, garlic, vinegar, brown sugar and spices. The resulting sauce has a strong flavor – peachy, vinegary and redolent of cloves. It’s like a savory peach butter. I knew it would be tangy, but I wasn’t expecting the flavor explosion in my mouth. In the cookbook, they suggest pairing the ketchup with a double patty burger. I don’t eat beef, so I made some pulled pork (not the one in the cookbook, I don’t have a smoker) and crusty rolls. I am going to spend my summer putting peach ketchup on everything. And I’m going to make more recipes from this cookbook. There are some peach tamales and a peach and rhubarb slab pie calling my name.
This is a good late spring/early summer cookbook, especially if you have access to good peaches. The recipes I didn’t try mostly look delicious and intriguing. With a number of pages devoted to the area’s food scene, this would also be a good cookbook for anyone in the Nashville area, or planning to visit the area. It’s always possible that I chose the only two good recipes in the book, but I doubt it. And frankly, if you bought this just for the peach pound cake and peach ketchup, I wouldn’t blame you.