This simple summer dessert of sweet juicy griddled peaches with strawberries, is served fresh basil and cream. This dessert screams summer, just add sun!
The quality of the ingredients do all the work resulting in a dish that is so much more than the sum of the parts.
Just 4 main ingredients make up this fruit dessert; peaches, strawberries, mascarpone and double cream. A little fresh basil, balsamic vinegar and a little sugar further compliment the main ingredients to make this dish special.
Use peaches that are just ripe and ready for eating but are still slightly firm as overly ripe and soft peaches are difficult to cut in half.
If you haven't griddled peaches before I am sure you will be doing it again once you have tried them. Not just for the flavour, but also for the smell which they impart as they get heated and caramelise! Just divine!
Why to do some peaches cut in half easily and others do not.
This is down to the variety of peach. Some are free stone peaches which separate easily and others are cling stone which as the names implies have flesh which stubbornly clings to the pit. Unfortunately I have yet to discover a way of identifying which is which.
Macerating the strawberries really brings out the flavour of the strawberries. Macerated is the term for soaking fruit in liquid and sugar to soften and release the juices. Macerating is similar to marinating—the fruit also absorbs the flavours of the liquid as they soak.
Leave to macerate for about 30 minutes but no longer than 90 minutes as the berries will start to break down too much.
Buy local strawberries rather than imported if you can,as I think they always taste so much better.
We all know that strawberries team so well with basil and balsamic vinegar, I teamed the three very sucessfully in my summer strawberry roulade . But who knew that basil goes so beautifully with peaches! Perfect!
You could just serve the fruit with whipped cream but I find a combination of mascarpone and cream just adds a little more depth of flavour. I've sweetened the cream with a little icing sugar but its not strictly necessary so can be omitted if you prefer.
For the strawberries and the cream it is simply a case of combining the ingredients together, which can be done a little in advance.
The peaches can be cooked on a ridged griddle pan indoors or even out side on the barbecue. Both will give them the attractive griddle marks. Alternatively pop them cut side up under a hot grill.
Step by step
However you cook the peaches they are delicious enjoyed alfresco straight off the heat with the macerated strawberries teamed with basil and a generous dollop of the cream!
Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a day although the strawberries will loose some of their texture and become a little mushy.
Griddled Peaches & cream with Macerated Strawberries
- Griddle pan or barbecue
For the macerated strawberries
- 225 g (8oz) strawberries
- 2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 3 - 4 medium basil leaves shredded
For the cream
- 150 ml (¼pt) double (heavy) cream
- 150 g (5oz) mascarpone
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
For the griddled peaches
- 4 ripe and ready to eat peaches not overly soft
- cooking oil (light olive oil or cold pressed rapeseed oil)
Macerate the strawberries
- Wash, hull and slice 225g (8oz) strawberries and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoon sugar and a couple of shreded basil leaves and ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar and gently stir to coat the strawberries in the vinegar and sugar. Leave to macerate for about 30 minutes.
Prepare the cream
- Whip 150ml (¼pt) double cream until just holding its shape. Then beat in 150g (5oz) mascarpone and 1 tablespoon icing sugar until thick. Chill until required.
Prepare the peaches
- Starting at the stem, use a small sharp knife to cut into the peach and slice the fruit in half cutting through to the stone. Twist the two peach halves in opposite directions to separate. Then carefully remove the stone carefully.
- Heat a griddle pan until it is nice and hot. Brush the cut side of the peach with a little oil and place on the griddle pan. Leave them to cook and caramelise for at least 5 minutes. Don't be tempted to move them during the cooking process.
- Carefully remove the peaches from the griddle pan and serve with the strawberries and cream. Sprinkle with a few more pieces of shredded basil and enjoy.