No. 160 & 161: Grilled California Peaches & Southern Peach Crumble

Peaches were a big part of our weekend grilling extravaganza. I love this time of year when they are in season and everywhere you turn.

We purchased two big boxes of ripe organic peaches in preparation for these two recipes and our red wine-blueberry-peach sangria. While the first recipe called for underripe peaches that soften on the grill, the cobbler needed the sweet, ready to eat kind. I set a few on the windowsill to ripen in the sunshine, a lesson I learned long ago from my grandmother.

Sill peaches

Grilled California Peaches with Almond-Mint Pesto

Stone fruit on the grill is a must in the summer time. The heat carmelizes the sugars in the most perfect way. I had been eyeing this recipe in Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction cookbook for the past year and couldn't wait to try it.

Ingredients

For the pesto
1 1/2 cups packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 serrano chile, chopped
Grated zest of a lime
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

The peaches
5 just underripe white peaches, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons canola oil

To make

Begin with the almond-mint pesto. Combine parsley, mint, almonds, garlic, serrano and lime zest in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped.

Chopped pesto

With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. If the pesto is too thick to pour, add in a little water. Set aside.

Heat your grill to high for direct grilling. Brush the cut side of the peaches with canola oil and grill until golden brown and carmelized, about 1 1/2 minutes. Flip over peaches and grill until heated through, about 1 minute.

Grilled peaches

Arrange peach halves on a platter and drizzle with pesto. Garnish with sliced almonds.

Southern Peach Crumble

I love crumbles even more than I love pies. Crunchy topping with lots of fruit. You can't lose. This Southern twist with bourbon and butter sounded divine for a summer night.

Ingredients

1 stick of cold butter, cut into pea-sized chunks
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
6 to 8 sliced ripe peaches
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 quart vanilla ice cream

To make

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. With your hands mix the flour, cinnamon, sugar, butter, and pecans, until crumbly.

Mix all the other ingredients together, and pour into a baking dish.

Dish of peaches

Top the peach mixture with the topping.

Ready to bake crumble

Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes.

Baked crumble

Serve with vanilla ice cream.

The results

Let's begin with the grilled peaches. While I didn't get an 'after' photo of the peach halves with the pesto, it was a nice combination and great accompaniment to the herb-rubbed ribs.

A word of warning: a little of that spicy pesto goes a long way. I'd recommend half a serrano in the future (or half a jalapeno) so the mint and almond can shine through a bit more.

The crumble was ... how should I say it? Phenomenal.

Crumble with ice cream

There is so much right about this recipe. A hint of bourbon and syrup, tartness from the lemon, sweet peaches and lots of crumbly topping with crunch from the pecans. Vanilla ice cream is a must as well, don't skip it.

I sliced 4 1/2 large peaches to fill in my 8x8 dish, and used 3/4 of the crumble topping amount listed above. It made for a very nice ratio.

I will also admit to having a cold helping of this crumble for breakfast today. It was divine.

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