Grilled Peaches with Salted Caramel Sauce
This salted caramel sauce is so good that you can put it on anything. But we are talking grill school, so let’s give the peaches their due. Peaches love to be grilled. The loss of moisture makes grilled peaches meaty, the slight char gives their natural oral scent gravitas, and the heat softens the fruit, causing the juices to swell in the flesh, rather than gushing and squirting with each bite. Be sure to use freestone peaches so the halves will separate easily from the stone when cut and twisted.
Grilled Peaches Ingredients
1 1/4 cups (10 oz/315 g) sugar
1/4 cup (2 oz/60 ml) heavy cream
1 tablespoon bourbon
4 large, ripe peaches
2 pinches of smoked flake salt such as Halen Môn Gold or smoked Maldon
Grilled Peaches Directions
1 In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and 3 tablespoons water over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the caramel cooks evenly, until the syrup turns dark amber, about 5 minutes. Immediately pour in the cream, stepping back as there will be a lot of steam and splatter. When the steam subsides, stir the mixture until smooth. Stir in the bourbon, transfer to a heatproof container, and let cool.
2 Heat the grill for medium-high direct heat (400°–450°F/200°–230°C).
3 Brush the grill grate and coat with oil. Halve the peaches from the stem end to the blossom end and twist the halves in opposite directions to separate. Remove and discard the pits. Brush the peach halves all over with some of the caramel. Put the halves, cut side down, on the grate and cook, turning once, until nicely grilled marked on both sides, 2–3 minutes per side.
4 Transfer the peach halves, cut side up, to individual plates, placing 2 halves ?on each plate. Drizzle the grilled peaches with the remaining caramel and top with a generous sprinkle of smoked salt.
Feel free to substitute another stone fruit. Nectarines, apricots, and plums will all work great.
Flavor your caramel with liqueur (St-Germain, Cointreau, Frangelico), other booze (Scotch, añejo tequila, brandy), or fruit juice (orange, peach, cherry).
Substitute strong brewed coffee for the cream for a dairy-free, reduced- calorie, richly dark caramel.
Serve grilled peaches solo or team them with slices of grilled pound cake or gingerbread, or a big scoop of salted caramel ice cream.
These recipe excerpts are taken from Williams-Sonoma Grill School, authored by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim and published by Weldon Owen (available now).