Adventures in Grilled Peaches

Aloha E Komo Mai!

The other night I was messing around with fresh fruit and trying to figure out how to make an easy dessert for our dinner.   I had almost rip peaches and have been grilling them with spices and liquors with some success – at least the family ate the dessert.

Fresh fruits are one of the main pleasures and joys of summer along with grilling! I had heard a lot of discussion amongst my close friends about grilling fruits and this summer I began exploring how to best prepare the fruits. I went right out to our local organic market and purchased approximately 6 pounds of golden deliciousness to begin experimenting!

I tried different liquors like Disarrono Amaretto, various rums and sweet wines and ports with fresh ground sweet spices like cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg. All my attempts were met with limited success and enthusiasm from my family and friends. I continued to experiment by different methods i.e. adding finishing salts, honey, cane sugars or molasses, with every attempt receiving the same mixed reactions.

But one night as we began dinner on the grill, I realized we didn’t have enough charcoal to cook everything that was planned; Sausages, corn, bread and of course the dreaded peaches! So I went out behind the house and collected some oak branches to add to the fire. And you know what?!? I hit on success!

In adding the oak to the coals, it began to smoke. I didn’t think much of it and added the peaches on the side to slow cook along with the rest of the dinner. When it came time to try the dessert peaches, my husband asked what had I added to the peaches to make the flavor stand out. He said that what I made was now his favorite dessert and could I make more?

Needless to say I was amazed! After taking my first initial bite I realized what ingredient was missing in all my previous attempts. I was the smoke! The oak smoke imparted a earthy tone to the peaches that mingled well with the spices, honey and liquor. Did that success make me want to sit back and savor the moment along with dessert? Nope! I am at it again using other fresh fruits with the oak, pine and cedar to discover new flavors that will enhance any meal. Below is my recipe for oak smoked grilled peaches. Give it a try.

Oak Smoked Grilled Peaches

 2 – 6 peaches, halved and pitted

1 – 3 tsp. Fresh ground cinnamon

1/8 c. Grand Marnier

1 – 2 Tbsp. Honey

Large foil sheet lightly coated in almond oil.

Halve and pit peaches and place on large foil sheet, cut end up. Stab peaches lightly with fork and then sprinkle fresh ground cinnamon onto peaches. Drizzle first the Grand Marnier and then the honey over peaches.

Loosely wrap foil over peaches leaving a medium sized hole at top to allow for release of steam.

On grill add oak over coals to begin smoking process. Place peaches on the side to slowly cook. Check on packet to make sure that peaches and mixture is bubbling, not burning. When peaches are soft and pliable, they are done.

Serve hot with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!


Michiko Burns

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