First taste of summer
So the heat has finally broken and here in the Hudson Valley fresh Southern peaches are temptingly decking the local markets. Now, normally I like to go for local food, but I’m a sucker for peaches and when they are cheap and deliciously ripe in-season, it’s hard not to break down and buy a few.
So if you find yourself with peaches ripening on your countertops and don’t know what to do with them, here is a simple, succulent way to turn them into a not-too-decadent dessert. It’s the perfect end to a laid-back dinner party.
Roasted Peaches with Almonds
1 ripe peach per person, halved and pitted
1 whole almond per peach half
real maple syrup (if you don’t have the real stuff, you can substitute honey)
Set the oven to 450 degrees F. On a baking sheet or in a glass or ceramic baking dish, arrange the peach halves cut side up. Place an almond in the center of each pit hollow. Fill the hollow with maple syrup (and drizzle some along the outside if you like), then sprinkle the sliced almonds on top.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the peaches are soft and the maple syrup is thick and caramelized.
Serve two halves per person while still hot (for hungry folks like me – you can reduce the serving size to one half per person – but why would you want to?) and top with heavy cream. You can also substitute good-quality vanilla or sweet cream ice cream or real whipped cream. Fresh raspberries, almond cookies, and/or fresh blueberries would all be nice additions. You could arrange the peach halves tightly in a baking dish, drizzle with maple syrup and top with a streusel topping for the easiest peach crisp ever.