We made pancakes last weekend, a hearty Saturday brunch for a crowd. We are great fans of maple syrup, but we also love the chunky fruit toppings found in diners and family restaurants like Bob Evans.
You can buy these industrially pre-packaged in jars, of course, but it is just too easy to make your own. You don't even need fresh fruit; frozen does just as well, and bags of organic frozen peaches and blueberries are easily available from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.
Here the peaches are spiked with just enough cinnamon and nutmeg to bring out their flavor, and orange juice plays up the tangy sweetness.
Try this recipe with berries or peeled plums, too. Substitute grape or cranberry juice for the orange juice.
D.I.Y. Peach Pancake Topping
makes about 3 cups
2 1/4 cups frozen peaches (1 16-ounce bag) 1/2 cup white sugar 1 cup orange juice 1 cup water 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch 1/4 cup cold water Pinch salt
Put the peaches in a 2 quart saucepan. Stir in the sugar, orange juice, water and spices and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir often and make sure that the mixture doesn't boil over. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the sauce is slightly reduced and the peaches are tender.
In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the cold water until completely dissolved. Add to the peaches, stirring briskly. Stir constantly over medium heat until the sauce is slightly thickened - just a couple minutes.