When Life Gives You Lemons...

The produce section at the grocery store is an embarrassment of riches lately. Every time I go in there, there are so many beautiful and reasonably-priced summer fruits, only available for such a fleeting period of time, that it's literally all I can do to stop myself from buying them all. Peaches, raspberries, and blackberries -- I've been buying them like a mad woman, taking them home, washing them, then freezing them for future use in sorbets. It's cheaper and tastier than buying pre-frozen fruit at the grocery store, but now my freezer looks a little something like this:

This is why, when I compulsively bought even more peaches at Whole Foods this week (yes, they cost more twice as much as the ones I've been buying at Jewel, but they were so much more gorgeous and fragrant, plus they turned out to be free-stone peaches instead of cling-stone, so the time I saved cutting them up almost justified the extra $1.50 per pound) I realized I really didn't have the space to add even more frozen fruit to my stash. Dad, who was over for the evening, cajoled me to make him a peach pie, but I was in no mood after spending nearly eight hours on my 4th of July apple creation. With my fruit teetering on the precipice of over-ripeness, I knew I had to take action quickly, so I turned to the internet once more, for a recipe I had recently spotted for roasted peach lemonade.

As it turned out, I had also massively overbought on lemons for this week's lemon ginger bars, so creating a beverage from both fruit surpluses would kill two birds with one stone, and prevent the kitchen waste that I've been trying so hard to eliminate from my life. Although making the lemonade portion from scratch was a little time consuming, this recipe wasn't difficult and it felt like it came together relatively quickly despite the time spent on juicing a half dozen lemons by hand. I managed to get everything finished in the time it took the peaches to roast in the oven, and from there it was just a quick spin in the blender before I had a beautiful pitcher of peach lemonade just waiting to go.

The peach lemonade was the perfect summer beverage -- sweet and velvety on the tongue from the peaches, but gently tart and refreshing from the lemons. Even though I'm enjoying it from the comfort of my air-conditioned apartment, I could envision sitting out on well-shaded porch with a tall, frosty glass of this lemonade. It would also be perfect for summer entertaining, especially for gatherings with children, since it is non-alcoholic. If you find yourself with your own surplus of peaches this month, I highly suggest giving this roasted peach lemonade a try.

Roasted Peach Lemonade
adapted from The Naptime Chef

4 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
1 c. plus 2 tablespoons sugar
6 lemons
4 c. water, divided

Preheat the oven to 400.
1. Place the peaches skin side down on a baking sheet and sprinkle the tops with the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Roast the peaches about 20-25 minutes until the tops of the peaches are juicy and the skins slip off easily.
2. Meanwhile, make a simple syrup by combining the remaining cup of sugar and a cup of water in a small saucepan and cooking over medium heat until dissolved. Remove from heat.
3. Juice the lemons and strain out the seeds. Combine with the simple syrup and remaining 3 cups of water in a blender.
4. When peaches are done roasting, remove their skins and place them in the blender with the lemonade. Puree the peaches completely, until liquid is smooth and frothy.
5. Pour the mixture into a pitcher and chill until ready to serve. Stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon before serving.

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