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Grilled Peaches with Cardamom Cream

Stone fruit seared on a hot grill and topped with billowy whipped cream is one of the best ways to end a summer meal—and one of the easiest endings to make, too. If you don’t want to fire up the grill, roast the peaches in the oven instead. You can trade out the cardamom for another spice, such as cinnamon, or you can replace the spice in the cream with a splash of vanilla or brandy.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. honey 
  • 1 Tbs. brandy or fruit-based liqueur 
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom 
  • 4 firm but ripe peaches, halved and pitted 
  • Olive oil for brushing 
  • 1/2 cup cold heavy cream 

Directions:

In a bowl, combine the honey, brandy and 1/4 tsp. of the cardamom. Whisk briskly to loosen the honey and mix well. Add the peach halves and toss gently to coat. Cover and set aside at room temperature until ready to cook.

Prepare a hot fire in a grill, or heat a grill pan on the stovetop over high heat. Brush the grill rack or pan with olive oil.

Meanwhile, in a chilled metal or glass bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining 1/4 tsp. cardamom and beat until fluffy, stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes more. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Using tongs, remove the peach halves from the honey mixture and arrange, cut side down, on the grill rack or pan; reserve the remaining honey mixture. Cook the peach halves until tender and nicely grill-marked, 3 to 4 minutes.

Transfer the peaches to a platter or individual plates or bowls and let cool slightly. Serve warm, topped with the cardamom whipped cream and drizzled with the reserved honey mixture. Serves 4 to 6.

Fresh take: Other fruits, such as nectarines, apricots and pluots, are good candidates for this summertime grilled dessert, too. You can also grill the fruits, minus the honey-brandy dunk, and then chop them and add to a green salad. Arugula is good match for the caramelized flavors of the fruit.

Change the method: You can roast the peaches instead of grilling them: Preheat an oven to 400°F. Arrange the peaches, cut side up, in a baking dish and roast until tender, lightly browned and beginning to caramelize, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how ripe the peaches are.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Good Food to Share, by Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan (Weldon Owen, Inc., 2010).