The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

June 29, 2013

COOKING WITH SIMON: Concentrating on the flavor of summer peaches

Palestine Herald-Press

— There's something wonderful about grabbing a fresh peach from the fridge. The chilled fresh taste of the juice brings out the flavors out and, of course, it reminds me of one of my favorite desserts – fresh peaches and ice cream.

But this wonderful flavor is only available for a short period of time during the summer. Last week I bought a half bushel of peaches from fellow Go Texan member, Cooper Farms in Fairfield. It was such a treat, but I can’t eat that many peaches straight out of the fridge.

This week we’ve enjoyed the peaches with granola and yogurt, with lots of ice cream, and best of all, in a pie. I also did some experimenting with a peach paste that can be used as a spread on cheese platters.

I was inspired by a product I had found at FRESH in Tyler called fruit paste. The specific brand is from New Zealand, my homeland, and comes in an assortment of flavors like fig, quince, apricot, cherry and pear.

The fruit is cooked down and gelatinized to concentrate the flavor and pair well with various cheeses.

First of all I was excited to find a product from home, but then when I tried some I couldn’t quit eating it.

So instead of using all the peaches to make jam or jelly I decided to make my own fruit paste. I could definitely use it considering how much cheese I enjoy eating.

My experiment was a success and I hope you enjoy it too.

If you would like to hear more about some of my favorite things from New Zealand, along with a pavlova demonstration, I will be at FRESH on Tuesday at 10am for Coffee Talk with Myste Snow. It’s a fun hour with free coffee, lots of samples and great recipes too. Hope to see you there.



10 large peaches, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

2 packets gelatin, melted as per package instructions


Put sliced peaches in pan and bring to boil with water and sugar. Cook for ten minutes or until reduced by half. Cool and put peaches in a blender. Blend until smooth. Stir in gelatin and pour into an 8x8 baking pan. Place in the refrigerator to set for about 6 hours. Use a spread on crackers or on toast with various cheeses.


Simon Webster is the Executive Chef of Sabor a Pasion Country House & Bistro a multi-faceted dining destination just outside Palestine. For more information go to or call 903-729-9500.