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At the peak of stone-fruit season, this is a sweet addition to your baby's bowl. Choose ripe, fragrant fruits for the optimal flavor, starting with peaches and nectarines and moving on to tarter apricots, cherries, and plums. As you get into combination foods, you can start playing with whirling a few of these fruits together, swirling them into yogurt, and adding a spoonful to stewed meat.
This recipe is intended for babies 6 months and up.
2 ripe peaches or nectarines
To peel the fruit, cut an "X" into each blossom end and carefully add to a small saucepan of boiling water. Blanch for 1 minute. Using tongs, transfer to a cutting board and let stand until cool enough to handle, then slip off the peels. Remove the pits and chop the flesh into 1-inch (2.5-cm) chunks.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water to a boil. Place the fruit in a steamer basket and set over the water, then cover the pan. Steam until the fruit is very tender, about 10 minutes, depending upon the ripeness of the fruit.
Turn off the heat, remove the steamer basket, and reserve the cooking liquid. Let the peaches or nectarines cool slightly. Puree in a blender or food processor until the texture is right for your baby. To make it thinner, add cooking liquid, water, breast milk, or formula.
Refrigerate the puree in an airtight container for up to three days, or freeze for up to three months. (Storage tip: Spoon into ice-cube trays for single servings that are easy to thaw.)
Makes about 1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml)