Spiked Peaches with Grilled Pound Cake

Jump to recipe

Come August, peaches are ready for their close up. The market bins overflow with the colorful, fragrant fruit, and I find it hard to resist their call. Just this week, I took home peaches almost as large as softballs and every bite was sweet and juicy. Although I love making sangria out of them, they are almost too good for that right now.

Perhaps that’s why I had repeat visions of a simply beautiful dessert by Chef Karen Valentine at Christopher Place Resort near the Smoky Mountains a few weeks ago. Out came a plate with buttered grilled pound cake and a small mound of sliced peaches macerated with peach schnapps and brown sugar. Both were snuggling up to a baby-sized scoop of vanilla ice cream, which looked small but turned out to be just the right amount of cool creaminess without overwhelming the other mild buttery flavors. She pulled it all together with a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

It in its simple, flavorful beauty, it paid tribute to the classic Italian approach to desserts, which is often fruit only or fruit forward, featuring seasonal fruit sometimes soaked in syrup or liqueur. Although cake and ice cream wouldn’t be typical after a big multi-course meal, they offer complementary flavor and nicely contrasting textures.

Peaches might seem like an Italian fruit, but the tree is originally from China. The sweet orbs made their way to Persia (which is how they got their name, Persian Apple) and were then imported by the Romans. Later they made their way to the new world. And I am grateful for that.

Right now, they are ubiquitous and amazing, so I set out to recreate Chef Valentine’s dessert. The beauty of it is that you can simplify it and pull it together in no time with store-bought cake if you like. If you need a gluten-free dessert, you can macerate the peach mixture in wine or cognac, and it is wonderful on its own or with ice cream or gelato without the cake.

Although it seems like we are drowning in peaches at the moment, they will be gone before we know it (I already see the apples creeping into their space at the market—not that I mind, I’m just not ready). Enjoy their spectacular flavor early and often. Here, plus in that sangria, too.




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.