If you do a peek back at my posts, you might realize a couple of things about me. The first is that I am a fan of cooked fruit. Make it a sauce, a jelly, a pie, a cobbler, a bar, a cake, a muffin or stir it into baked oatmeal. I am there! Every. Time. The second thing is I am obsessed with cast iron. I love how evenly it heats. I love how durable it is. I love the way it looks and feels. I told you, obsessed.
As much as I love my cast iron skillets (and I do!), I have really fallen in love with enameled cast iron even more. They take away the biggest worry I have with my seasoned cast iron, which is keeping them well seasoned. I used two sizes of cast iron skillets for dinner a while back. Matt was nice enough to do the dishes and I didn't even think twice about it. I went in the kitchen the next morning and found both skillets in the dish rack, with rust where they were touching each other. Luckily it was nothing some steel wool, a little oil and a trip in a hot oven couldn't fix, but what a pain!
So when I was offered the chance to review a Lodge Enameled Cast Iron dutch oven from shopworldkitchen.com I jumped at the chance. I had been eyeing them for a while and couldn't wait to get my hands on one. Let me tell you, I love it! It is the perfect size for baking a loaf of crusty bread, making a pot of soup or braising some meat. It is great for stove to oven applications too. But do you want to know my favorite feature? The shape! I love how the sides slope into the bottom. It is perfect for making long simmering sauces or soups, great for making jelly and super for risotto. The fact that there isn't a hard corner where the edges meet the bottom of the pan means there are no spots where food can hide while stirring. It is easy to get it all without worrying about bits getting scorched.
I have already used this beauty for a handful of great recipes, so get ready to see a lot of it. But I thought I would start be sharing a simple peach sauce with you. You could certainly use all of the beautiful fresh peaches that are out right now. I decided to take it easy on myself and use frozen so I wouldn't have to peal or pit them. I wanted for there to be nice chunks of peach left in my sauce, so I ran a sharp knife through the still frozen slices and make large chunks. All you have to do is add some sugar and lemon juice and you are ready to go! A cast iron pot is the perfect vessel for making a sauce like this. You just bring it to a boil, reduce it to a simmer and you can more or less walk away. Just check in on it ever so often and give it a stir and take in the beautiful aroma. The thick bottom of the cast iron takes the need to stir constantly away. The next thing you know, you'll have a delicious sauce ready to be served over pancakes, waffles or a delicious bowl of homemade ice cream!
Peach Vanilla Sauce
2 lbs peaches, frozen or fresh
2 T lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 T vanilla bean paste (extract would be fine too, I just love seeing the bean specks!)
- Peel, skin and pit peaches. Chop into large pieces and place into large heavy bottomed saucepan.
- Stir in lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Drop to a simmer and continue to cook over low heat for about an hour or until fruit is soft and the liquid is thick and syrupy.
- Use while warm or refrigerate until ready to use.