August 14, 2010

Grilled Peaches

Maybe I've mentioned this before:  In our house, delicious summer fruit is usually eaten out of hand or in a fruit salad. Who doesn't love chucks of melons and nectarines, peaches and plums, especially when augmented with some perfect summer blueberries?  A fruit salad is a safe dish at a potluck and a refreshing afternoon snack.  So why push the boundaries?

Well, grilled peaches have made the covers of magazines long enough to no longer be dismissed as a trend, so I finally decided to try them.  I found a recipe online and when I was recently asked to bring a dessert to dinner at friend's house, I thought about cookies, or ice cream, but I tentatively asked, "Have you ever had grilled peaches?"

"My mom makes grilled peaches and it is like eating candy. Great with vanilla ice cream."  So it was decided.

The recipe I found on Trader Joe's website called for brushing peach halves with a mixture of agave sweetener and butter and then dipping them in minced crystalized ginger before grilling them. Grill cut side down at a high temperature until grill marks appear.  Then flip and fill and hole where the pit came from with a spoonful of mascarpone cheese. Leave on the grill just long enough to melt the cheese.  And viola: a rather gourmet grilled peach!

Well, honestly, I kind of think that the recipe was a marketing ploy to get people to buy agave sweetener, crystalized ginger and mascarpone cheese.  The crystalized ginger didn't stick to the peaches, and therefore imparted no flavor, but it would have been a nice touch if it did.  Maybe it would have been better to mix the minced crystalized ginger with the butter or serve the peaches with ginger ice cream.  Though agave pairs well with fruit, the flavor of the agave was completely overpowered by the char and the cheese, so why not use something more common such as honey or sugar?  I had not ever had mascarpone before, and you know, why not just use vanilla ice cream?

Don't get me wrong.  I think that Grilled Peaches are a fabulous ending to a summer BBQ.   They were a big hit!  Grilled peaches are like a peach cobbler, but without the cobbler to get in the way of the vanilla ice cream melting deliciously over the warm peaches.  I see no need to complicate it.  The extra elements (agave, ginger and mascarpone) in the recipe were unnecessary.  I must note, though, that some of my friends, really did enjoy the mascarpone.  But if I come to your house on a warm summer night, and you want to do Grilled Peaches, can we please have some ice cream on top?

Grilled Peaches
inspired by multiple magazine covers and loosely adapted from Trader Joe's.
A simple, almost-no-prep dessert, the perfect ending to a summer BBQ.  Serves four.

If the flesh of your peaches where the pit is removed is red, scrape it out with a spoon.  That red part can be quite bitter.

2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey, agave sweetener, maple syrup or sugar
4 just ripe, not overly-ripe, freestone peaches.
1 pint vanilla ice cream

Combine butter an honey in small bowl.  Halve peaches and remove the pits.  Brush honey-butter on cut side of peaches.   Grill peaches over high heat 1-2 minutes on both sides.  Let cool 5 minutes.  Serve two peach halves topped with 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream.


  1. maria the grilled peaches reminde me of my grandmothers canned peaches with milk and sugar. i found it a memory maker for me- victor

  2. Victor, I agree about the cheese. Ice cream was way better. Thanks again for having everyone over. You are a wonderful host! -Maria