I’ve decided that desserts need a bit more respect around here. With all the different types of fruit beginning to ripen in my area, perhaps one dessert recipe per week should be in order. And since grocery stores can’t seem to sell peaches fast enough these days, I found an interesting dish that uses them as the primary ingredient.
Today’s dessert recipe calls for only a few ingredients. Of course, you’ll need peaches. Then, you’ll need some sugar, lemon juice, water, honey and a few other things. There’s nothing exotic necessary with this one. The dish does end up very sweet, so if you would prefer something less sweet and more mild, I’d suggest that you leave out the granulated sugar. Go with just the honey and I think you’ll be fine.
This dessert is quite dynamic tasting. Many of the ingredients used are predictable, but towards the end, the instructions call for reducing any liquid that’s left over in the skillet into a syrup. In this liquid is the essence of peach, so the reduction tastes like a sweet peach and honey mixture. It’s actually very good and it was one of my favorite aspects of the dessert. That, and the salty toasted pecans. I can’t seem to get enough of them.
6 Ripe but Firm Peaches, Peeled, Halved and Pitted
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Salt Plus 1 Pinch
1/3 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Honey
2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Pecans, Crushed and Toasted
I’d like to thank America’s Test Kitchen for their wonderful resource called The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook. I pulled this recipe from it. It’s just one of many incredible dishes this cookbook offers and I’m thrilled to share it with you.
Arrange an oven rack so it sits approximately six inches away from the top of the inside of your oven. Then, turn on your broiler to warm the oven.
Peel the Peaches
There are a few methods you can use to peel a peach. If you purchased yours when they were still firm, as I did, let them ripen for a few days. Be sure to keep your eye on them because you’ll need to peel them with a vegetable peeler just at the time they begin getting soft. If they get too soft, you’ll need to use the second method described below. Basically, if the peaches still have some firmness to them, go ahead and remove the skins with a peeler and then cut the peaches in half. Use your knife to separate the two halves and then remove the pit. Also, be sure to remove any skin that you may have missed with the peeler.
If your peaches are already soft, you can fill a pot half way with water. Bring the water to a boil and add the peaches to it. Let them do their thing for 30 seconds and then immediately scoop them out and submerge them in ice water. When the peaches have cooled, use a knife to make Xs in their bottoms. Then carefully pull the peels away from the flesh with your fingers. Either way, you should end up with 12 halves that look like this.
Prepare Lemon/Sugar Mixture
In a large bowl, add the lemon juice, granulated sugar and salt. Mix well. Then, add the peaches to this bowl and toss until each half is completely coated with the mixture.
Warm the Peaches
Add the peach halves, flat side up, to a large skillet. Be sure to spoon all of the lemon mixture from the bowl in the previous step over the peaches. Then, add the water to the skillet as well, so the peaches are resting in it.
Place the skillet on the top rack of your oven and let things broil for 15 minutes. Keep your eye on the peaches. Your interior temperature may vary, depending on your oven. I used the low setting on mine for this step. The peaches shouldn’t brown very dark here, just lightly.
Prepare Honey Mixture
While the peaches are in the oven, go ahead and combine 1 tablespoon of oil and honey in a medium sized bowl and mix well. You can place this bowl in your microwave for 30 seconds to loosen the honey up.
When this mixture is warm and when the peaches are done in the oven, remove the skillet from it.
Brush half of the honey mixture over the tops of the peaches.
Brown the Peaches
Place the skillet back in the oven. This time, I kept the broiler temperature on low for about 5 minutes and then turned it to high for about 2 minutes. Just a word of warning; high is high. It’ll brown or burn something rather quickly, so you need to keep a close eye on things. The moment your peaches begin to brown and you can see some charring, turn off the heat and remove the skillet from the oven.
Next, brush the remaining honey and oil mixture over the peaches.
Toast the Pecans
Add the crushed pecans to a small skillet and warm it over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet as well as a pinch of salt. Continue to flip the pecans as the pan warms up and when you begin to smell them toasting, turn off the heat. They are finished.
Reduce the Liquid & Plate
Use a spoon to remove the peaches from the skillet and place them on a platter.
There should be some liquid left in the large skillet. Go ahead and warm it over medium-high heat. When the liquid begins to foam and when it reduces about half way, turn off the heat.
Then, pour the reduced syrup over the peaches on the platter.
Finally, sprinkle the toasted pecans over the peaches as well.
The Final Honey Glazed Peaches with Toasted Pecans
I must say, this look rather tempting. It does taste very good and is a creative way to use peaches as a dessert during peach season. Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!