Here is an application that comes from the Rogers TV Show Grill This! Smoke That! (it will start airing in September 2010) I have prepared this at one of my recent cooking demos and it worked great even baked in the oven.
- 2 peaches (slightly under ripe, but excellent quality and great flavour)
- 1 oz Gran Marnier (and an extra one for the cook)
- 4 Tbsp Honey Peach Jalapeño Dipping Sauce
- 4 Tbsp Mascarpone cheese
- Ground Pistachios
- Maple syrup
If you are grilling this on your BBQ, preheat one section of your grill on maximum heat. We want to add some grill marks to the peaches (on both sides of the peach). If you will be using the oven preheat to 350F. Cut the peaches into halves and remove the stone. Place the peaches onto a plate and inject (with a syringe and needle) each peach half (20 – 30 times each) with the Gran Marnier. It may seem like tedious work, as very little liquor that wants to stay in the peach every time you inject it, but it is worth it, so stick to it. When you are about half finished enjoy the cooks tax (of the liquor) and then back to work. Grill the peaches directly over high heat to get the grill marks, they will be done when they are just soft (squeeze test works best). Remove from the heat and chill in the refrigerator until ready to plate for dessert. When plating, we place the cut face up, and either drizzle over the top or simply spoon a Tbsp of the Honey Peach Jalapeño (HPJ) Sauce into the depression left by the stone. To this add the Tbsp of Mascarpone cheese to each over top of the center of the peach. Drizzle the maple syrup in an extended pattern across the plate and then sprinkle the plate with some ground pistachios and serve. The subtle heat from the HPJ adds an interesting delight to this dish.
We are also working on another method of presentation for this dish. We core the peaches from the top to remove the stone (I have a six inch length of 1 inch copper tubing, sharpened at one end that works well for clingstone peaches, for free stone peaches use the method above), inject the Gran Marnier and then bake the peaches until done. How long you ask…… it all depends on the ripeness of your fruit. (I have some friends that will not eat a peach from their special backyard tree until the fruit falls on its own. The peaches are perfectly ripe and at maximum juiciness, it is almost a sin to think of doing anything other than just enjoying it in its basic form,…. but I do dream). In reality, they will not let ME eat a peach from that tree until it falls naturally; it is amazing how many wind storms/earthquakes come up when I arrive at their house. Bake until tender but definitely, not mushy. Something to keep in mind is that the peaches will continue to cook after you take them off the heat, so it is important to chill them quickly to stop the cooking.
Chill the peaches after baking. In a small bowl, blend together the Mascarpone cheese, ground pistachios and a little maple syrup. Either spoon the cheese mixture into the peach hole or use a piping bag and pipe it in. Pour about 2 Tbsp of the HPJ onto the center of the plate and place the peach on top of the sauce. Drizzle with some more maple syrop and sprinkle the plate with ground pistachios. Partially cover the hole on top of the peach with a sprig of mint.
Both methods can also be served warm, but the cheese may melt and slide out of the hole, it is still very tasty.