It’s Peach Season and we simply can’t get enough!
I stop at the farm stand and smell the peaches the second I walk through the door! For months, we have all been waiting for this. I buy a big greedy bagful, and am tempted to try to eat one in the car on the way home. The first bite into this golden treasure, drips down my chin; I don’t care, and I have absolutely no trouble being “in the moment.”
There will be a batch of peach cobbler, peach jam for later in the year, and for a brief time, they will be a constant star in morning fruit salad. If we have company, some peach ice cream might magically appear, but one of the easiest way to make a grand statement with peaches is to grill them.
This is one of those simple brunch recipes that you can also serve at any dinner for dessert, and they are great hot or at room temperature. The peaches are always the star when they are in season, but you can substitute any fresh stone fruit when at their best: apples, plums, pears, or even exotic pineapple, use your imagination. The grilling brings out the natural sugars, and elevates their simplicity. If it is raining, you can cook these nicely in a cast iron frying pan.
6 ripe “freestone” peaches
2 tbsp. melted butter or olive oil
4 tbsp. brown sugar
Pecan halves, or crystalized ginger
Select peaches that are local, ripe, with a lovely peach aroma but still firm. Large ones are easier to work with, and make sure you get “freestone” and not “cling” or you won’t be able to cut them apart easily. Slice peaches in half all around lengthwise, twist, and separate so you can remove the pits.
Brush with butter or olive oil and sprinkle about a teaspoon of brown sugar on each. Grate just a touch of nutmeg on top. I set them aside for a few minutes, upside down on a plate with an extra sprinkling of brown sugar. During this rest, the sugar will melt and coat the peaches evenly.
Starting with flesh side down, grill until nicely colored over indirect coals (this is good to do after the rest of the meal is grilled and the coals are wearing out). You can use your outside grill, a grill pan, or iron frying pan on the top of the stove. Turn only once, and finish grilling until peaches are cooked. It doesn’t take long, just a few minutes on each side. You will want color, nice grill marks, but not mushy fruit, so don’t walk away.
Place two peach halves on each plate and drizzle with Ginger Rum Sauce, a little maple syrup, or a Raspberry Vinegar a sauce. Add your desired amount of blueberries, and sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired. My grandson loves it with some minced mint as well. Of course, it all tastes better you eat it in the garden.
You can also make a lot of these ahead of time to serve as dessert for a party, arranged on a large tray.
Raspberry and Vinegar Fruit Drizzling Sauce
This one is tart and tangy, but extremely flavorful and as easy as it gets. Mix together 3 tablespoons of raspberry liquor, 1 teaspoon of champagne or white wine vinegar, and a small pinch of salt.