Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday Splurge - Grilled Spiced Peaches with Orange-Vanilla Mascarpone

"You had me at mascarpone....."

I love mascarpone. I love Italian, I love cream cheese, I love tiramisu. I love that cannoli place near me that makes mascarpone-filled cannoli.

I thought of those delectable things as I waited my turn at the deli today, and glanced over into the cheese case. Before I knew it, a cute little package of mascarpone had stowed away in my shopping cart. Over in produce, I noticed it as it winked at me and pointed to some beautiful peaches.

Hmmm...well, okay. You can come home with me. Peaches have to be healthier than deep-fried cannoli shells sprinkled with powdered sugar and drizzled with chocolate, right?

So, here's what I had for dinner might want to make this for dessert, but frankly it was so hot and humid today (again) that I wasn't hungry enough for actual dinner, so I skipped right to dessert. I mean, there's ALWAYS room for dessert...especially when you don't eat your dinner.

Along with peaches, you'll need some mascarpone, an orange (or a tbsp of orange zest and maybe 1/4 cup or so of orange juice) and some honey.

And ....

...some brown sugar, ground allspice, ground ginger and a vanilla bean pod. (Which I was very excited about....first time I've ever used one!)

Why do I not have a picture of this part?

Anyway, cut around the peaches to cut them into halves. Twist gently but firmly and they should come apart, leaving the pit in one side. Carefully pry that out.

Zest the orange and set the orange zest aside. (That sounds strangely redundant, but I can't think of another word for orange zest....or even just zest)

Squeeze the juice into a bowl and add the brown sugar, allspice and ginger. Place the peaches into a bowl or, better yet, plastic zipper-type bag and pour the orange juice mixture over them. Seal and let them marinate a bit - just a few minutes will do!

Meanwhile, you can make the topping. Whip together the mascarpone, orange zest and a couple teaspoons of honey. Split the vanilla pod and scrape the inside with a sharp knife. Blend that into the mascarpone. Cover and refrigerate it.

Lightly oil your grill and preheat it to medium. Place the peaches, cut side down, on the grill. Cover and grill about three minutes, then flip them and grill the skin side another 3 to 4 minutes.

If you sampled that orange juice marinade (like I did) you'll notice it's pretty spicy! The spice flavors are really subtle once the peaches are grilled, but it smells divine.

To serve, arrange one half peach on a plate, top with a dollop of mascarpone and garnish with some fresh berries.

There you have it! A lovely dessert! Or you can eat this, then take another grilled peach half, dip it in more mascarpone topping and call it dinner on a hot summer night!

Grilled Spiced Peaches with Orange-Vanilla Mascarpone

2 large firm peaches

1 large orange

2 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp ground ginger

6 oz. mascarpone cheese

2 tsp honey (or to taste)*

1 or 1/2 vanilla pod

1 cup berries for garnish (blueberries, raspberries, black raspberries or any combination)

*For a slightly firmer and sweeter mascarpone topping, add about 1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar and beat with an electric mixer

Directions press "ENTER" after each step

Add Sections

Cut peaches in half, twisting to separate halves and remove pit.

Grate about 1 tbsp of orange zest and set aside; squeeze the juice from the orange into a bowl.

Add brown sugar, allspice and ginger to the orange juice and mix together. Place peaches into large Ziploc bag and pour orange juice mixture over peaches. Seal bag, tossing to coat peaches evenly with mixture.

Place mascarpone in a bowl. Split vanilla pod with a sharp knife and scrape the inside - add to the mascarpone and discard pod. Add orange zest and honey and combine well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Preheat lightly oiled grill to medium heat. Place peach halves, cut side down, onto grill and close cover. Grill about 3 minutes or until you get good grill marks. Flip over and grill skin side another 3 minutes or so. Remove from grill.

To serve, place one peach half on plate and top with a dollop of mascarpone filling. Garnish with berries and serve.

1 comment:

Willoughby said...

Gorgeous dessert, er...dinner! I've never grilled peaches before, but you've convinced me that I should try it!