If the true test of food is how it stands the test of time, then Chef Auguste Escoffier’s Peach Melba is iconic. Still on fine dining menus around the world, Peach Melba is actually a simple combination of fruit and ice cream.
Why am I writing about this classical dessert? Because I’m betting that Uncle Auguste would be happy to know that his creation honoring an opera singer’s premiere in 1892 was transformed into a grilled summertime dessert enjoyed by adults and kids alike more than a century later.
So fire up the grill and celebrate some of the best fruit summer has to offer. July is peach season and there’s nothing better than grilled peaches for dessert. This could quite possibly become your signature dish at future picnics and dinner parties. The sweet and smoky flavor will impress your most finicky friends.
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Grilled Peach Sundaes
4 peaches, cut in half, pit removed
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 teaspoons brown sugar
Vanilla ice cream
Strawberry or raspberry fruit sauce or whipped cream (optional)
Lightly brush a preheated grill with canola oil. Place peaches cut-side down on the hot grill. Grill for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on temperature of grill until peaches have softened and have grill marks. Remove from heat and place on a plate, grill-side up. Sprinkle immediately with brown sugar (approximately one teaspoon per peach half). Allow to cool at room temperature for 1 to 4 hours.
Cut peach halves into quarters and place in serving bowls, dividing equally. Top the peaches with as big a scoop of vanilla ice cream as you can handle and your choice of sauce or sauces and whipped cream, if desired.
Makes 4 servings
Selecting Peaches for Grilling: Select peaches that are firm and give slightly to the touch. Ripe or very ripe peaches will be mealy when grilled. When cutting the peaches in half, place the peach on a cutting board, and slice into the peach horizontally until your knife hits the pit. Then run the knife in a circle to finish cutting. Twist the peach gently and pull the halves apart. Using a spoon, pry out the pit. Some varieties of peaches will yield their pit easier than others. Ask the produce manager or the farmer for advice when you purchase your peaches.
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