If you’ve ever cut open a peach you’ve noticed its pit. It looks wrinkly, with a few tiny holes, and a lot like an overgrown almond. Well, is it an almond ? Or are peaches and almonds just related ?
There’s a common element between almonds and peaches, and we’re going to explore it today. And we’ll give you a few ideas on how to use almonds and peaches together, whether it’s a sweet or savory meal.
Yes, almonds and peaches are very closely related. Both are part of the Rosaceae family, the Prunus genus, and the Prunus Amygdalus subgenus. Peaches are then in the Prunus persica species, while almonds are in the Prunus dulcis species.
This means they are almost the same tree, but produce different fruits. Peaches grow a sweet, fruity flesh around the pit, while almonds grow a thinner flesh around the pit, and it is not sweet. They also look very different, with peaches growing orange with a reddish blush, while almonds grow green.
Both grow a layer of thin, short fuzz all over their skin as protection against insects.
There are similarities in flavor
You may not immediately notice this, but if you take the time to really taste these two, you’ll notice almonds and peaches are a bit similar in flavor. Peaches have a distinct sweetness that almonds don’t have, true. But their overall aroma is similar, and best described as floral or rosy.
Read also: Cobbler VS Pie
Almonds have a deeper, slightly bitter taste that comes from all of the almond essential oil found in the seeds. Peach flesh has a very diluted, similar note, underneath all the sweetness.
Don’t eat peach pits !
If you were to crack open a peach pit, you’d notice the inside looks very similar to an almond. It also tastes very, very similar but it’s not recommended for consumption.
Peach pits contain cyanogenic glycosides, and once ingested they break down into hydrogen cyanide gas. A single peach pit is not lethal, but large amounts, like a handful, can cause serious health issues. It’s best to avoid them.
Other members of the Prunus genus
So peaches and almonds are related. Who else is part of this little family ? Well apricots are very close, as are nectarines. Actually nectarines are simply a type of peach that has developed a hairless skin, and it’s pretty much the same fruit.
Prunes and plums are also part of the Prunus genus, as are cherries. This means that, in many cases, you can easily swap the fruit flesh of all of these and still end up with a similar item.
How to use almonds and peaches together
What if you want to use peaches and almonds together ? Something to bring the whole family together, if you will. There are quite a few options, and maybe you’ll be inspired to think of something we haven’t written here. So let’s take a look at the suggestions.
Mix almond meal into a peach cake batter
Possibly the simplest way to bring both peaches and almonds together is to use them in a cake. In the cake batter you can add some almond meal. it will weigh down the cake, but it will also bring a nice texture to it. Meanwhile you can make a peach jam filling, or a peach buttercream, or just use peaches as a topping, along with some whipped cream.
It’d be a very simple summer cake and we’re convinced many people would actually enjoy it.
Almond flakes on a peach pie
If you’d rather go for something a bit easier, you can make a peach pie (or cobbler, it works for both) and fill the pie with sliced peaches as usual. And then over the top, you can sprinkle some roughly chopped almonds, or maybe you can use slivered almonds. The flavor won’t be overwhelming, but it will be there.
Combine almonds and peach in an oatmeal bowl
A morning oatmeal sounds delicious, always, and adding both peaches and almonds is guaranteed to bring a nice flavor. It could be peach jam or fresh peaches, and it could be roast almonds, almond meal, slivered almonds, whatever you have. Even almond extract will do nicely here.
Swap apricot for peach jam in fruitcake
You can make fruitcake, the old-fashioned way with marzipan and apricot jam. Except, you swap the apricot jam for peach jam, and get the same result.
Or you can make something similar to a fruitcake, with peach slices and an almond meal inside the cake batter. Something like a peach torte (not tart, that’s different).
Marzipan coating and peach buttercream
If making a cake, you can use marzipan instead of fondant, and use peach buttercream so you have both flavors combined. It would make for a very romantic, boho cake. Add some peach sugar paste flowers, and respect the original colors (cream from marzipan, light orange from peach buttercream, and pink from the flowers) and you get a really beautiful color scheme.
Roast almonds and peach sauce for roast meat
For a savory dish, you can use roast almonds as an extra stuffing, and you can make a peach sauce to go with the main item. If it’s a roast meal, it will work great with the sweet and tart notes in the peaches. If it’s a roast root vegetable, well, we all know those always go beautifully with a sweet sauce.
And that’s pretty much it. The fact that almonds and peaches are related can really help you think of recipes and combinations that would work great. And if you’re ever in doubt, remember that you can swap peaches for nectarines and apricots any day.