The classic combination of peaches and cream are amped up with a touch of smoky and a splash of dark rum.
Peaches and cream, a classic summer treat and a combo as natural as peanut butter and jelly. Here’s a grilled variation on this dessert theme inspired by an old newspaper clipping my wife found in a filebox that, naturally, I had to monkey with. Peaches are halved and grilled until soft and smoky before being chopped and served with ice cream and a drizzle of mouthwatering rum, maple, and vanilla sauce.
About the rum. I recommend rum, but if you must, you can substitute Bourbon, Cognac, or unflavored brandy. No peach or flavored brandy, please.About the peaches. There are many varieties of peaches, but they can be divided into two broad categories, cling, and freestone. Cling peaches cling to the pit and it is hard to separate the meat from the pit. Freestones are loosely attached, and when you cut them in half, the pit comes out freely. For grilling, I prefer freestone. If they are a little underripe, they will be easier to grill. Really ripe, soft, juicy peaches don't caramelize as well.About the maple syrup. If you can, real maple syrup, the darker kind called Grade B is my favorite, but I have made this with honey, molasses, and even Lyles Golden Syrup. Optional. In the picture you'll see that I grilled some poundcake and put the ice cream on top, and then I garnished with some pecans. Definitely recommended. Also, a gentle sprinkling of large grain salt on the ice cream is interesting.About the salt. Remember, kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works.
Fire up. Set up your grill for direct heat cooking on medium high heat. When it is hot make sure to clean the grates thoroughly so there is no meat grease. This is crucial! If necessary, use water to loosen the grease.
Cook. While the grill is preheating, pour the booze, lemon juice, vanilla, maple syrup, sugar, and salt into a sauce pan and melt them together over high heat, stirring occasionally. Boil the mix for about 10 minutes to drive off some of the alcohol. I know you think this is a waste, but you want the booze to play nice with everybody, not bully them. It really detracts from the taste in this recipe. When it is done, let it cool.
Prep. Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits.
Cook again. Grill the peaches cut side down until they get some nice golden grill marks but try not to let the sugars burn. Should take about 20 minutes. After about 20 minutes if you stab the skin side with a knife or a fork it should slide in easily. If not, flip them over and cook a bit longer on the skin side until there are grill marks. Remove them from the grill and cut them into slices or chunks.
Serve. Put a scoop of ice cream in a bowl, pour the sauce over it (a ladle comes in handy), and then top with the peaches. Serve immediately because the ice cream will start melting fast.
Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.
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