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A versatile, yet simple, sauce, peach sauce is made from peaches and is often used to top sweet desserts or pancakes and to compliment pork chops or poultry dishes. It may even be used as baby food. Depending on its use, the consistency of the sauce and its additional ingredients vary. Peach sauce is usually made with fresh peaches but can also be made with canned.
When making peach sauce with fresh fruit, the peaches should first be peeled and the pits removed. Slicing the fruit in half and then briefly placing it in boiling water generally loosens the skin and makes the peach easy to peel. Pits should be removed before placing the peaches in the water.
Though some sauces require pureeing, others just require mashing the fruit. Recipes that just require mashing will result in a chunkier sauce than those which blend the fruit in a food processor. For cooks who wish to have a smoother sauce, but have a recipe for a chunkier one, blending the finished product in a food processor or blender works to smooth chunky sauce for almost all recipes. Whatever recipe is used, the peach sauce should have a relatively thick consistency.
The simplest type of peach sauce includes peaches, water, and often a little nutmeg. The ingredients are boiled together and then pureed. This sauce is best used as homemade baby food and can be frozen for storage.
There are many variations to the additional ingredients in peach sauce. Some recipes use many, while other use very few. Sugar, either brown or white, is almost always added to sweeten the sauce, as is corn starch to thicken it. In addition to nutmeg, cinnamon is often included as well. Vanilla extract and almond extract are also popular additions to the sauce.
Usually, all the ingredients except the peaches are boiled first. After the sugar dissolves, the peaches can be added. Peaches may be mashed while they boil or prior to boiling. Some recipes, however, call for the peaches and sugar to be boiled first, then the other ingredients to be added.
Peach sauce may sometimes include alcohol. Flavored Schnapps or other peach flavored liqueur may be added to the sauce during cooking. The cooking process burns off most or all of the alcohol, so even when alcohol is included, the sauce itself will not be alcoholic. Peach nectar can also be substituted for the liqueur.