Powell posted a great idea last year, a little late for most of us to take advantage of this cool 'recycling' idea.
The point - as you thin your peaches, apricots, nectarines and almond fruit save the baby fruit and pickle them!!
Below is Powell's original post.
I was determined this year to catch the best size of the thinning as we go forward into flowering and then fruiting season I thought I would post this early so everyone has an opportunity to thin for the right size.
The idea is to thin while the fruit is still quite small (marble size) and BEFORE the pit has a chance to form.
This is the recipe on the link originally supplied:
baby peach or almond pickling (Ligurian style)
2 ½ -3 cups (about 1/2 pound) green almonds —available in Spring in specialty California and New York markets
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 cinnamon sticks, about 2 inches long
2 bay leaves
2 or more small, dried chili peppers, slashed in half with scissors
2 1/2 cups pickling white vinegar
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 cup honey
2-4 tablespoon sugar (to taste)
Pierce the green almonds with a skewer, starting at the stem and stopping before you reach the tip. Pack in 2 jars, and add a cinnamon stick, a bay leaf and 1 or more chilies in each jar.
Make the brine: In a non-reactive saucepan, warm the vinegar with the cloves, honey and 2 tablespoons sugar. Stir until the honey and sugar dissolves, lower the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Taste, and stir in more sugar if you like. Pour the hot brine over the almonds, topping with a little more vinegar if needed, to cover the almonds completely. Close the jars and leave in a cool place for at least 4 weeks before serving, shaking the jars from time to time. They keep in the brine for a year, or more.
I really want to try this out this year - it has always made us so sad to thin with bunnies and the occasional bird enjoying just a few of the hundreds of fruit on the ground.
Thanks again, Powell, for posting this last year.
I am fairly certain this will work with any fruit species being thinned (well, maybe not something with a peel--doesn't hurt to try). And I suspect various pickling recipes will work as well.
I am definitely going to try and do something with thinned peaches (if I get any).
I see the above recipe called for peaches picked before the pit is formed. This reminded me about something I read about cyanide found in peach pits. So I Googled it., and came across this discussion:
Which just confirmed my perception that the amount is too small to really be concerned about. More importantly, the discussion included another recipe:
Peach Seed Nut Cookies
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. shortening
3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. soda mixed with 3 tbsp. flour
1/2 c. sour milk or buttermilk
Dash of nutmeg
1/4 to 1/2 c. peach seed nuts, chopped fine
1/8 tsp. salt
Cream sugar and shortening; beat in eggs. Add flour and soda mixture alternatley with milk; mix until light and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients; drop from teaspoon onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees 12 to 15 mintues, until light in color. Let cookies mellow in tightly covered can for 1 week. Yield 4-5 dozen cookies.
BTW, I made a liqueur using loquat pits, which, like peach pits, contain Amygdalin. It has a lovely almond / cherry flavor to it, and after sampling it a few times, I am still alive.
Interesting discussion and recipe Grrlscout. The biggest danger of cyanide poisoning it not to humans but other critters like goats who may ingest dried twigs, branches and leaves which concentrate the cyanide. Older preserve (Jam) recipes for stone fruit suggested the inclusion of some seeds for additional flavor (like your liquor recipe). Probably insufficient to cause any harm at all :-) There is also a type of Apricot offered by Starks Brothers which has an 'edible seed' in the pit - supposed to taste like almonds.
There are quite a few edible pit apricot varieties coming in from Afghanistan/Pakistan ("Hunza" types), as well as those mentioned already in nurseries as Chinese, Mormon, Montgamet "sweet pit" apricot tree (likely all the same cultivar). Pain in the buns to extract the pit I've heard. The Hunza's must be roasted first before eating.
As for loquat seed/pit liqueur --- finally a good use other than distance spitting!
Rumored Zaiger is working on edible line of peach and nectarine pits (hopefully the ones that tend to split their stone...).
That is interesting about Zaiger, Powell. Our oldest apricot is in her twilight years and it is one Deane will want to replace although I don't know about the edible pit variety as an option, but interesting. Thank you.
It would be risky as the chill hours are still listed too high. And there may be better fleshed apricots. All just so you can eat the seed that tastes like a (closely related) almond.
If you only had space for one I would go with Gold Kist. If you wanted to risk it Robada has a lot of promise (but chill hours not really established; currently <500). The problem with available varieties are the ones for this area all pretty much in sync with Kady's season (including Robada, Tropic Gold). If you lived in a colder part of Phoenix metro I would say Blenheim (400 chill) to extend season.
Thanks for the feedback, Powell - our ancient lady is a Gold Kist and we love the fruit - it is amazing. We have a Katy (Kady) and the fruit quite is bit larger than the GK but not as superior tasting. We live in a really warm CH area - about 250 maybe 300 because I've seen the GK rated at 300 and she fruits for us every year.
Well I got my batch of pickled baby peaches going and posted on Growing Gourmet, with a picture of the beginnings.
April 18th - official taste test 4 weeks after making the batch.
I like these!! Crunchy, non-fuzzy (for anyone who wondered whether it would be), cinnamon/clove/sweet flavored. I have to consider what foods to pair these with, but chopped and used as a garnish over roasted chicken or pork comes to mind, or stuffed into the cavity for roasting poultry. I would also enjoy these as a nibble with almonds. Hmmm. maybe minced in a spread of yogurt cheese and figs.
If anyone else tried pickling let us know what you think and any uses you tried or want to try :-) Happy food recycling!
I think one of the suggested uses was to toss some in some guests' salads and wait for them to ask, "wow, what is this?"
LOL! I do like to surprise people as long as I know they won't freak out on me. I usually have some willing taste testers - one of the best compliments I ever got was "Are you making something weird by wonderful?" in response to a dinner invitation. :-)