Tag Archives: vanilla

Grilled Peaches with Honey

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Before I get to the amazingness that is this recipe, you should understand how it came to be, because it’s not as simple as “I wanted to make a fruit dessert and this sounded good.” Don’t get me wrong, that is kind of true, but there’s more to it than that.

This past weekend, I embarked on what my best friend Jackie and I call “BFF weekend”. She lives about an hour away in Metro Detroit and while you would think that’s not too far and we see each other all the time – we don’t. She and I have been friends since we started college (lived on the same floor our Freshman year) and though we had our ups and down, she’s my girl and we’ve always been the best of friends. So now instead of just hanging out for a few hours, we make a whole weekend out of it. And since the price of gas is ridiculous, I found an Amtrak ticket for $30 round trip and decided to use that as my way there and back. Best. idea. ever.

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Jackie, her hubby and I decided to have a day of culture in Detroit and be tourists in our own city. Detroit gets such a bad rep and while there are areas that aren’t the safest, any city can be like that. There are areas of Detroit I never feel unsafe or weird around, and if you really look, the architecture and culture is just beautiful. So we spent the day at the art museum (DIA) and then walked around. We ended the night at the MGM Casino, where I lost $12 once again proving my point that 1). I bring bad luck to all those around me in a casino 2). I suck at gambling and 3). It’s a good thing I don’t really like gambling because I suck at it. My wallet and I stay happy that way ;)

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The entire time we were at the museum, we kept saying, “We should make grilled peaches for dessert.” But then we basically ate our way through Detroit and by the time we got back to their house, we were too full to even think about dessert despite stopping at the store to pick up the ingredients for it. Fail on us.

The weekend came to an end and I was still thinking about grilled peaches, but the thought quickly vanished when I saw my boys who came to pick me up from the train station. I came home and saw a package had arrived from one of my other best friends – Allison in MS. She sent me a southern care package of all local items in and around Oxford, MS!!

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From top right to bottom right: Two jars of honey from their honey bees. Uh yeah, did I forget to mention Allison and her hubby harvest bees?! One honey was from kudzu blossoms and the other wildflowers. She also sent me grits, and how-to guides on growing herbs. And finally kudzu jelly and hot sauce. I was in heaven.

But what caught my attention was that honey, because almost instantly my mind went back to the idea of grilled peaches. And with grilled peaches came the rest which included the frozen vanilla Greek yogurt we had in the freezer, the ginger snap cookies in the cupboard and that glorious, beautiful honey that kept staring at me from the counter.

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So I made grilled peaches for dessert, and thought about all my friends and what they mean to me. I might have also been thinking, “Damn, why didn’t I grill up two peaches instead of one?” but that’s just an afterthought.

Grilled Peaches with Honey
 
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Cook time
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A dessert so perfect for summer, you will make it year round!
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Cuisine: summer, peaches, honey
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 peach, halved
  • ½ tablespoon butter (optional)
  • ½ cup frozen vanilla Greek yogurt (or ice cream of your choosing)
  • ¼ crumbled cookie of your choice (I used ginger snaps, about 2-4 mini cookies)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (I used wildflower and kudzu blossom) to drizzle
Instructions
  1. Heat grill or stovetop grillpan over medium heat
  2. Add butter to melt (optional but it will help the peaches from sticking to the grill pan)
  3. Cut the peaches in half around the pit
  4. Place peaches cut side down on grill and grill for 5 minutes on one side
  5. Flip and grill on the peel side for another 5 minutes
  6. The peaches are done when you see those beautiful grill marks
  7. Place peaches in bowl or plate
  8. Top with frozen vanilla Greek yogurt and crumbled cookies
  9. Add drizzle of honey
  10. Enjoy!

Vanilla Poached Pears

International eating is what took place in our home tonight. It all started with REB and I wanting to do something with the leftover block of tofu we had. We hadn’t made any kind of Asian food in a while, so we decided to do our recipe of General’s Tofu. We used up some mushrooms we had which made it even more filling and delicious! The problem? No fresh ginger. I don’t dare use ginger powder – call me a snob if you want – when it comes to Asian or Indian cuisine. Fresh grated ginger is the way to go. Luckily we live across the street from a Whole Foods so he ran over there while I started cooking.

When he came back he did come back with a ginger root, but he also came back with two Anjou pears (we already had one Bosc pear sitting in our fruit bowl), vanilla bean and a bottle of Riesling. I gave him a questioning look and all he said was, “Poached pears.” Ah, but of course.

We talked about making poached pears the other night, but we didn’t have all the ingredients we needed. At least not for the recipe he wanted to use. So anyway, after our vegetarian, VERY spicy variation of General Tso’s chicken, we decided to make the pears.

We adapted the recipe from Mr. Alton Brown. Don’t freak out when you see the recipe – you aren’t reading incorrectly. It does in fact take two hours from start to finish. However, this was one of the easiest recipes even if it took that long to make. I don’t think we realized the time frame, but once we started we just had to finish!

It’s a good thing he and I enjoy hanging out with each other ;)

The wait was worth it. Our place still smells like the sweet syrup. The sweetness of the pears was absolutely decadent. Who says you need to fly to Paris to enjoy a really good dessert? I can enjoy something sweet with my sweets right here and just in time for Valentines day :)

Vanilla Poached Pears:
•3 pears (We used two Anjou and one Bosc. You can also use Bartlett)
•1 bottle white wine (Riesling or any sweet wine will work best)
•1 whole vanilla bean, scraped and save the pod
•3/4 cup vanilla sugar
•1 cup water

Start by making the vanilla sugar. It’s nothing scary! Just take 3/4 cup granulated sugar and add in 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and mix well. You could also take another vanilla bean, scrape it, add that and some granulated sugar into a food processor and get it really fine. But the former is the easiest way to go in my opinion.

Next, in a 4-quart saucepan add the water, sugar, vanilla, vanilla pod and bottle of wine and bring to a boil.

Prepare your pears: core the pears from the bottom. The easiest way to do that is to cut off a tiny bit from the bottom of the pear, take a vegetable peeler, poke in, turn and cut out the core.  Lower the heat, add the pears to the pot, cover and let the whole thing simmer – a gentle simmer – for 30 minutes or until the pears are tender, but not too mushy.  Remove the pears and place in a serving dish and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Increase the heat back to high and let the sauce boil and then reduce until approximately one cup is left – this will take about 20-25 minutes. Pour the syrup into a heat-resistant dish (we used our Pyrex measuring cup) and refrigerate for one hour.

Long process? Yes.
Worth it? Absolutely.
Place a pear on a dish, pour the syrup over it and enjoy!


Are there nights you decide to make dessert last minute?

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