I couldn't be more excited for the month of August. August and fresh peaches are synonymous. Yes, peaches are available during other months of the year but there is something special about the August peach; it’s just sweeter. I don’t think I’m imagining it. Maybe I’m fueled by the anticipation of peach cobblers, peach margaritas and the iconic peaches and cream; all indulgences I love to save until this time of year. But in short, peaches are simply sweet, comforting and distinctly summer’s gold.
Each year I try to come up with a new way to celebrate this timely summer crop. I have taken the peach in many directions, both savory and sweet. It never disappoints. This year instead of traditional peach pie I’ve settled on Grilled Poundcake with Warm Peach Coulis and Chantilly Cream. Don’t get scared off by the serious foodie language, coulis is just a fancy French term for a simple but stylish fruit sauce while Chantilly cream refers to a sweetened whipped cream.
This dessert is easy to prepare and truly makes the peach the star of the show. Grilling the poundcake also adds a toasty touch of goodness, while the slivered almonds provide the perfect contrasting crunch. I promise this will be a family favorite for years to come.
Grilled Pound Cake with Warm Peach Coulis and Chantilly Cream
Recipe created by Noble Pig | Serves: 4
2 heaping cups sliced and peeled "ripe" peaches, more for garnish
10 ounces apricot jam
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
One store-bought pound cake, sliced crosswise into 8 pieces
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sprigs of mint
Grilled peach wedges
In a medium saucepan, combine peaches, peach or apricot jam, lemon juice and water. Crush some of the peaches with a potato masher; about three to four crushes will do the trick, leaving many whole pieces. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to medium. In a small bowl stir 1 Tablespoon water with cornstarch. Slowly add cornstarch to the simmering peaches and stir for one minute. Remove from heat and keep warm.
In a medium bowl combine heavy cream with sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-low. Brush the pound cake slices with melted butter. Grill until the cake is toasted, about 2 minutes on each side. You can also grill some sliced peach wedges to serve on the side. Spread the warm sauce on dessert plates, place 2 cake slices on each plate and top with additional sauce, Chantilly Cream, slivered almonds and garnish with a sprig of mint.
Cathy is runs her own vineyard and winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. She is a food writer for Davis Life Magazine and blogs daily about wine, food and everyday living. She lives with her husband and two sons. You can visit her at noblepig.com.
by Ann Nichols