The peak of peach season is here! Whether you prefer to eat that juicy stone fruit on its own or with a healthy dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream or a scoop of luscious vanilla bean ice cream, it just can’t get much better…or can it?
Besides the usual desserts like pies, crisps, and cobblers, what else can you do with fresh, juicy peaches? What other flavors pair well with them? The answers are numerous and would take longer to list than there are days left in peach season, so we’ll get right to it.
The pairing of raspberry and peach, better known as Peach Melba, is a classic combination that was inspired by Opera Singer, Nellie Melba. Chef Auguste Escoffier developed this iconic dessert in her honor. Consisting of poached peaches, raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream, it still appears on menus today.
The deep, rich and somewhat bitter flavor of caramel marries beautifully with sweet peaches. Add a splash of bourbon, rum, amoretto or even Prosecco for an extra layer of flavor!
Spices and Herbs
Ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, clove and nutmeg give warmth and gentle spice to peaches, while herbs like basil, tarragon, thyme and rosemary add earthy notes to peach desserts.
Creamy goat cheese, mascarpone and bleu cheese all add richness and depth to peaches. Try grilling peach halves, filling cavities with any of these cheeses and then drizzling with honey, sprinkle with toasted nuts for crunch and texture and you’ve got the perfect summertime dessert.
Pretty much any nut is the perfect foil for soft, succulent peaches. Just be sure to toast them first for that one of a kind, roasted flavor. Toast nuts on a sheet pan at 350 degrees until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Plain or toasted, coconut gives added texture to dessert. To toast coconut, spread on a sheet pan and bake at 350 until golden brown, stirring once or twice. This shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes
All citrus adds brightness to peaches, but lime zest works especially well. It adds a nice color contrast too.