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While the grill is hot, turn summer's sweetest fruit into an inspiring dessert.

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Credit: Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

Recipe Summary

active:
15 mins
total:
20 mins
Servings:
4
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Peaches equal summer in the South. I wait all year for that first bite of sweet, tangy, soft, and crisp peach, juice running down my arm and chin—it is one of the top food moments of my year. In Alabama, we prefer Chilton County peaches. They come in force, so I'm always looking for ways to use them in fun and delicious ways.

Enter the grill! Warm and a little smokey, grilled peaches are the perfect addition to a grilled burger night or pork chops or literally anything! Quick and easy, this grilled fruit dessert is topped with a spiced whipped cream to take the yum up a notch! If you're not a fan of these warming spices, sweetened homemade whipped cream will do.

How to Grill Peaches

Grilled peaches are one of the easiest desserts you can make in the summer. Why? The grill is already hot. The fruit doesn't need a lot of attention, and it cooks quickly so the guests won't grow impatient for their meal ender. So while you've got the grill hot, prep some peaches, and let's make dessert.

Step 1. Get the grill going

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. If you're cooking on a grill that was just used for burger or steaks, go ahead and clean the grill so you don't transfer any marinade or seasoning flavors from the meat to the peaches.

Step 2. Oil the peaches

The natural sugars in peaches can burn and make the fruit cling to the grates of the grill. To prevent this (and any subsequent tearing and ripping of fruit as you try to move it), brush the cut side of the peach halves with oil. Any neutral oil will work, like avocado oil or olive oil. Just make sure it has a high smoke point so it doesn't burn quickly once on the grill.

Step 3. Grill the fruit

Place the peaches oil-side down on the preheated grill or grill pan. Resist the temptation to move the fruit once you've placed it. You won't get the beautiful grill marks if you're scooting the peaches around the grill. Close the lid, too. This will allow smoke to build so the fruit can absorb some of that natural flavor.

Leave the peaches in place, 5 to 6 minutes. This is enough time for the fruit to absorb a subtle smokiness and for the fruit to turn tender.

You can grill for less time—as little as 2 to 3 minutes will get you a nice sear. But a few extra minutes really helps to tenderize the fruit. Don't go too long, however. The longer it sits, the softer it will get, and it could begin to fall apart if it's cooked too long.

How Long Does It Take to Grill Peaches?

Five minutes on the grill is a sweet spot for grilled peaches. That's enough time for the fruit to absorb a bit of smokiness from the grill. It's also just right for tenderizing the fruit and making it easier to eat with a fork and knife.

Some recipes for grilled peaches only call for 2 to 3 minutes. That amount of time is enough for good grill marks, but it won't do much to tenderize the fruit. Be a bit patient for an extra sweet dessert.

Should Peaches Be Ripe Before Grilling?

Yes, ripe peaches will work best for this grilled peaches recipe, but they should be ripe and firm, not mushy. Save any soft, aromatic peaches for peach cobbler or peach sorbet.

You won't gain a great deal of sweetness by grilling peaches. They will be a bit juicier and more tender, but any additional sweetness is likely limited. If you use a peach that isn't ripe, it'll still be delicious, but you may want to add a little drizzle of honey or sorghum syrup for extra sweetness.

Why Salt Peaches?

Like salt on watermelon, peaches taste sweeter with a sprinkle of salt. Why's that? The contrast of salt helps heighten the fruit's sweetness on your palate. Plus, salt activates your salivary glands, which makes the peaches seem juicier and more tender in your mouth. You certainly don't have to salt these grilled peaches—they'll still be delicious without it—but if you do, you'll notice the shift in flavors. It's not dramatic, but it's enough to make a difference in what you taste of this summer dessert.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In small bowl, combine cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Whisk with a hand mixer until medium peaks form. Chill while peaches grill.

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  • Preheat grill to medium high. Brush peaches with olive oil on the flesh side, and sprinkle with salt. Place peaches flesh-side down on the preheated grill, close the lid, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.

  • Top with whipped cream, and garnish with fresh mint. Optional: Drizzle with sorghum syrup or honey.

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