Wednesday, July 24, 2013

summer dessert: grilled peaches and homemade caramel sauce

I do not have access to a grill, and I feel like my cooking life is severely lacking as a result. I want to grill pizza, have a cookout with burgers and hot dogs, and get creative on the grill with some stone fruit.

Since I choose to live in a city and a small studio apt at that, I am not privy to such luxuries--but that does not mean I am missing out on making some of these treats.

This weekend I tackled some grilled (read: stove top, in a pan, in Mikes kitchen) peaches with homemade caramel sauce because why not? They may not have gotten those beautiful grill marks or the slight char flavor from the grill, but they tasted caramelized and delicious and could not have been easier.

The homemade caramel was a "push myself" recipe, which I made the night before, but put both together for a perfect end of weekend dessert Sunday night.

grilled peaches
2 peaches, slightly under-ripe (should smell ripe and be slightly soft to the touch, but not squishy)
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp butter
  • preheat pan (or grill) with butter -if you are using a grill, skip the butter
  • slice the peaches in half and take out the stem and pit
  • I also scooped a little of the inside out because pieces of the pit were stuck in there and it just looked a little cleaner
  • sprinkle the sugar on a plate and dip the cut side of the peaches in the sugar to coat
  • place them cut side down in preheated pan on medium-low heat
  • let them be for about 5 minutes--you will start to smell the sugar caramelizing and they will be browned in color on the cut side-then you can pull them out
  • place in a bowl with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce (recipe below) and serve!

caramel sauce
This is incredibly easy thanks to Ina Garten, but it needs to cool for a while which I why I made it the night before. I also did not have/use a candy thermometer and was fine.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (can be omitted if you do not have it on hand)
  • using a deep sauce pan, mix the water and sugar over low heat until the sugar dissolves--about 5-10 minutes-do not stir while dissolving
  • increase the heat to medium and let it come up to a boil (do not cover it) until the sugar turns chestnut brown (if using a candy thermometer, about 350 degrees)-this should take about 5-7 minutes
  • gently swirl the pan to stir the mixture, but be careful as it is very hot-I was unable to get my caramel to "swirl" so I just used a rubber spatula to stir it
  • keep an eye on the caramel as it can get burnt very quickly
  • once it gets to the caramel color, turn off the heat and add the cream and vanilla-stand back to avoid splattering
  • the cream will bubble -a lot- and then the caramel will solidify
  • simmer it over low heat and stir continuously--all crystals should dissolve and leave the caramel smooth (don't worry, not all of mine dissolved and it still tasted great)
  • allow to cool to room temp (at least 4 hours) then serve
caramel cooling

tip: if reheating the caramel, put a pot of water to a rolling boil, and place the caramel in a heat proof container and place in the water bath. it will smooth out, warm up, and not get too hot or burnt.

happy (makeshift) grilling!

grilled peaches, a bit of vanilla ice cream and homemade caramel


  1. Looks yummy! Just a thought to help get some grill-like meals, Pampered Chef has a grill pan for the stove. (It's $149, but you can do an online/catalog party and get it for free or 50% off.) I'm sure you can find them elsewhere as well, but if you are interested, take a look at my website: