Typically, our Saturdays are pretty booked up during the summer. If we aren’t out on vacation or visiting grandparents, we are trying to catch up on housework and yardwork that we didn’t get to while we were on vacation or visiting the grandparents. With three little ones, there’s always something to pick up!
This past weekend, we finally got an easy Saturday. The housework was minimal and was done before lunch. Nothing was pressing in the yard. It was turning out to be a pretty lazy day. As I was sitting here trying to will myself into editing some photos, Beth was thumbing through Facebook on her phone. She found that the nearby peach orchard was picking. With Grace having recently found a new love for peaches, I thought that an afternoon spent picking peaches would be a fun distraction.
If you live in the Charlottesville, VA area and are looking to pick peaches, Chiles Peach Orchard is pretty much your go to. It is actually out in Crozet, VA, just a few miles away, and a beautiful drive into the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
So we headed out, checked in at the Farm Market to find out what they were picking and which rows to pick in and we got on our way.
There’s something sort of peaceful about walking through an orchard. As crowded as the Farm Market was, the rows of peach trees were very quiet and relaxing and I very much enjoyed touching the food where it is grown rather than rifling through an over-picked bin of under-ripe produce at the grocery store. I think I can just let the photos tell the rest of this part of the story.
The best part of the trip is paying for your pick and then just biting into a perfectly ripe and juicy peach right there in the orchard. So yummy! Make sure you lean forward a little so that you don’t get the juice all over yourself!
After you get the peaches home, that’s when the work begins. That’s when a lazy Saturday turns into a busy Sunday. You can do so much with them…peach butter, peach jam, canned peaches, peach cobblers. My favorite, though, is a lovely peach pie. When I’m just not feeling up to the perfection that pie requires, I lean to crostata (recipe below), a free-form, rustic style of pie that is incredibly easy to put together and always gets “wow” results.
So how do you spend a lazy Saturday afternoon? Any local places that you love to visit? Leave a comment and share your story.
Peach-Blueberry Crostata with Oatmeal Crust
1 C all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and rolling
1/2 C oats
1/4 C granulated sugar
1/4 lb (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
2-3 Tbsp ice water
1 1/2 lb firm ripe peaches
1/2 pint blueberries
1 Tbsp plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 Tbsp plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
For crust: Pour flour, oats, sugar, and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse to combine. Add diced butter and pulse until crumbly, 12-15 times. With the motor running, add ice water 1 Tbsp at a time until dough just comes together. Turn dough out onto a well-floured board and knead until smooth, adding more flour as necessary. The dough should not be sticky. Form the dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
After an hour, unwrap the dough and place onto a well floured surface. Roll the dough into a large circle, 11-12 inches. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just get close. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Preheat your oven to 450 F.
For the filling: Remove pits from peaches and cut into wedges or chunks. Place into a bowl with the blueberries, 1 Tbsp flour, and 1 Tbsp sugar. Combine well and pour into the middle of the dough circle leaving a 1-2 inch border. Fold the edges of the dough circle over the fruit, being careful not to tear they dough.
In a separate bowl, using a fork and/or your fingers, combine 1/4 C flour, 1/4 C sugar, salt, and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to continue cooling. Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
That looks like such a wonderful adventure with your family. The peaches also look incredible. I can’t pick my own, but I’m going to be picking some up at the farmer’s market to make that pie.
Tiff @ Babes and Kids says
My kids would love something like this, but I don’t think we have any peach orchards near. I love the recipe that you made with them.
Sara P. (@SensiblySara) says
What a FUN experience! And that dessert looks AMAZING!
What a fun way to spend the afternoon. We have apple orchards around our way, and we go to our favorite sometimes to pick apples. The building of it looks very similar to the one at your peach orchard!
Kimberly Grabinski says
Wow that looks amazing! We haven’t been to an orchard, I’d love to visit one.
Angela S says
I live in Georgia where we also have some wonderful peaches. I’ll be making your crostada recipe. It looks delicious!
Megan @mnmspecial says
We always had to a local farmer’s market for strawberries. This crostada looks amazing! I think we have some packed coming on here.
We just had a lazy Saturday at my house too. No sports, no parties. Just family time. We spent it at a local park and enjoyed every minute.
I would love to pick peaches. I haven’t done that in years. Sunday is always busy for my family…in a lazy sort of way, if that’s possible. We go to church, out to eat or grab something quick to cook at home, visit relatives, work around the house or go for a walk (preferred) and fit in a nap if we find time. 🙂
It is so much fun to pick fruit and know that it is as fresh as possible. Those peaches look beautiful, and it looks like your family had a great time picking them, too.
Valerie Remy-Milora says
Oh what a mouthwatering post! Those pictures look dreamy. My grand parents had a peach tree when I was young and I LOVED eating those juicy peaches right off the tree. We also made fruit leather with them. we’d purée the peaches then spread them thin onto a cookie sheet and set them out to dry on the porch… Such delicious times! I agree about an orchard being peaceful. We have friends who own an organic cherry orchard and I love escaping the hustle-bustle of LA with a visit to the orchard 🙂
Kat B. says
We love to pick our own fruits! It is so cheap and its fun.
Those pictures are gorgeous and the crostata looks delkcious!
Oh how fun! We love to pick our own fruit… and peaches are SO yummy! 🙂 Great photos!
This place looks awesome!
Shell Feis says
Oh, that place is absolutely beautiful! I would love to go there. We have an orchard here that lets you pick produce on the weekends, though it’s been far too hot to do that lately.
Amy Adams says
Yummy peaches!!! Looks like it was a blast and the pictures are gorgeous.
JR FrugalMom says
Oh, what a fabulous day it must have been, and those peaches look so tasty. Love the photos!
Laura J says
Oh that really looks good! We love peaches…wish we lived closer to a place to go and pick our own! I will have to try to make this for my family! We planted our first blueberry bush this year….would be so fun to use our own!
Nancy Loring says
I grew up with a peach tree in my yard. I have fond memories of eating fresh peaches. I also remember that my brother used to throw the rotten ones at me and my sister.
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