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Bourbon and Brown Sugar and Peaches - Oh My!

La Petite Maison Verte: Bourbon and Brown Sugar and Peaches - Oh My!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bourbon and Brown Sugar and Peaches - Oh My!

As the summer winds down and peaches are in full swing, I've been eyeballing desserts to use up these glorious sweet juicy fruits.  One of my ultimate favorites is The Barefoot Contessa's Peach and Blueberry Crumbles, as seen here on Ezra Poundcake.  These are so indulgent and really put you into a sugar-coma, especially if you top the whole thing with some vanilla ice cream.  I also like to add chopped pecans just beneath the crumble layer before baking them, I absolutely love the extra crunch and the buttery, nutty flavor they impart.  I highly recommend this recipe, please try it before the blueberries and peaches are all gone for the summer (although, I'm sure it would work great with frozen fruit too.)

But that's not why I'm writing.  Today's blog post is to share with you another wonderful recipe to make the most of your surplus of summer peaches.  Surprisingly, B picked up some less than stellar peaches at the market last week - they were a little mushy and not the bite-down-and-juice-runs-down-your-chin kind we've been bringing home for the last 3 or 4 weeks.  I didn't want to throw them out but we really didn't feel like eating them as-is in our morning oatmeal or chopped up on top of our greek yogurt either.  That's when I got the idea to roast them!

I've always heard that you can roast fruit and vegetables to bring out or deepen their flavor, an especially useful trick when the fruit in question isn't the best-tasting (maybe it's out of season or a little over-ripe even). It's a great technique to keep in mind with tomatoes, broccoli, strawberries, carrots and as I found out today - with peaches!  Here's a great guide from the Pitchfork Diaries to roasting fruit and vegetables, no matter what season or what kind of produce you're working with.  (Note:  I didn't toss the peaches in any oil before roasting, just lightly oiled the baking sheet and dusted them with a touch of brown sugar to help them caramelize).

Once the peaches were roasted, all of their past flaws were completely forgotten!  It was a great way to rejuvenate some less-than-perfect fruit for a delicious late-summer dessert.  You could certainly skip the roasting step if you have nice, juicy, firm peaches.  Just simmer them in the cream/milk mixture, chopped into cubes, for about 10 minutes or until soft.  Then puree and follow the rest of the directions as written.

I adapted this recipe from ones found at Annie's Eats and Smells Like Home, using what I had on hand.

Bourbon Brown Sugar & Roasted Peach Ice Cream


4 medium peaches, halved and pitted (about 1 1/3 lbs).
1/2 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk
scant 1/4 cup unsweetned vanilla almond milk (it's what I had on hand, you could certainly substitute skim milk)
scant 1/2 cup brown sugar, plus a little extra to sprinkle on peaches during roasting
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
generous splash of bourbon (about 2 TBSP but I didn't measure)


Preaheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Place peaches, cut side down onto foil lined pan and sprinkle with a little brown sugar.  Roast about 30 minutes or until peaches are caramelized and soft.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool 10 minutes.  Once cool enough to handle, peel skins off peaches and roughly chop into 2 inch cubes.

Warm the condensed milk, almond milk, heavy cream, 1/2 cup brown sugar, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt over medium heat until simmering.  Add chopped peaches and stir.  Remove from heat, cover, and allow to steep for 30 minutes.

Pour peaches and milk mixture into blender or food processor.  Add sour cream, lemon juice and bourbon and puree until smooth (alternately, you could leave some of the peaches out of the blender if you want some chunks of fruit in your finished ice cream, just add them back in once you've pureed everything else together).  Chill mixture in refrigerator overnight or at least 4 hours, until fully cooled.  Then pour into your ice cream maker and churn about 25 minutes, or according to manufacturer's instructions.  Eat right away or freeze in an air-tight container.  Enjoy!

Note:  If you don't have an ice cream maker don't worry!  Here is a tutorial from David Lebovitz (the ice-cream guru) for how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker.

This ice cream is luscious and creamy!  It's absolutely perfect on its own but I think it would be fabulous on top of vanilla pound cake or melting all over this warm blueberry galette.  If you're an ice-cream sandwich lover (and who isn't?!!) wouldn't this be phenomenal in between some homemade ginger snaps or brown sugar cookies?!  And just in case you don't have enough ideas, how about topping it with some toasted pecans and homemade caramel sauce...I know what I'm having for dessert tomorrow!

What's your favorite ice cream flavor of all time?  It's Chocolate-Hazelnut Gelato for me!

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