I am clinging to summer. I saw that the first apples will be at market this week but I will turn a blind eye. Don’t get me wrong, I love apples but I am just not ready. We have been having a most beautiful summer with perfectly sunny, warm days. One after the other. July was a record month without a drop of rain. This is very significant when you live on the West Coast.
The summer has been filled with many trips on the ferry, peaceful island time, visits with friends and family, picnics, dips in lakes and the ocean. We have to pack it all in while we can. Not to mention all the beautiful fruits and vegetables we have been eating.
I have been enjoying my days at the market and on the farm.
I know there will be plenty of apple eating months ahead so I am trying to get my fill of peaches, apricots, cherries, blackberries and plums while they are here. While most of the fruit gets munched on fresh, I do have my favourite summer desserts. Let’s see there is pie of course, crumble, galettes, pavlova and ice cream.
Summer cooking is simple. When everything is at its peak, not much work is required. Grilling or baking fruit is also a nice way to make a simple summer dessert and preserve the beauty of perfectly ripe fruit. The baking intensifies the flavour and sweetness and brings out a beautiful caramel flavour. It also fills your home with the most intoxicating smell of peaches, vanilla and caramel.
When I took my first bite of these baked peaches it instantly reminded me of this beautiful peach custard pie that my mom used to make for us. I love how food does that. It transports you to places, recalls memories and reminds you of loved ones.
I decided to pair the baked peaches with coconut whipped cream but of course regular whipped cream would be delicious or add a little mascarpone, thick yogurt or creme fraiche to it to balance the sweetness. Ice cream would be another wise choice. Of course any stone fruit would work beautifully in this recipe. We ate the leftover peaches and cream on our pancakes the next day and well that was pretty tasty too.
I have friends coming over this afternoon and we are going to make cherry pie and roasted peach and vanilla bean ice cream. The perfect way to spend an afternoon. Indulgent I know but it must be done while summer is here.
Enjoy the bounty that is upon us, feast with friends and soak up every last drop of sunshine while you can.
- 4 large, ripe peaches (about 1½ pounds)
- 4 Tbsp mild honey, I like wildflower
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 can full fat coconut milk, refridgerated overnight
- 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (or sugar), to taste
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the honey and butter in a small pot and warm gently to melt the butter and honey. Remove from heat, add the the vanilla seeds and scraped pod and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mix to combine.
- Meanwhile, wash the peaches and slice them in half. Remove the pits and place the peaches cut side up in a baking dish.
- Pour the honey and butter mixture over the peaches. Place in a preheated oven and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until the peaches are tender. Baste the peaches in the syrup a couple of times during baking.
- Remove from the oven and let cool.
- In the meantime, chill a medium sized bowl and whisk in the fridge for half an hour or so. Open the can of coconut milk and scoop just the thick, fatty layer of coconut cream off the top and place in the chilled bowl. (You can use the watery part in soup or a smoothie.) Beat the coconut cream by hand or with a mixer until smooth. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat for another 1-2 minutes until the mixture is light and creamy. You can make the cream ahead and store in the fridge. It will harden over time, simply beat again until soft and serve. Will keep upwards of 3 days in the fridge.
- Serve the peaches with a good dollop of the whipped coconut cream and some edible flowers if you have them.