We’re not dessert people.
We never order our own desserts, yet eat our fair share using the extra spoon. We play a game of toss & eat these cookies around the family room most nights during Colbert. Rolled cookie dough resides in the freezer should a need for warm milk & cookies arise, you know to impress playdates.
See, we’re not dessert people.
So, when a bunch of lemon verbena and yellow peaches found their way into my kitchen for no particular reason at all – and I couldn’t find a way to make a soup or stew out of them – this dessert happened. Peaches and cream with a twist.
Enhancing two basic dessert elements – the season’s best fruit and whipping cream – to another level without much hassle, you have a dessert worthy for a party or every night – and those of you who know me, know I’ll serve a fruit dessert for breakfast.
Here’s all you need.
Bring cream to a simmer and remove from heat.
Pack lemon verbena leaves into measuring cup. Your nose can thank me later. Note, if you cannot find fresh lemon verbena herb and honestly who would search for it besides me, use lemon – I’ll show you how in the recipe below.
Steep the leaves with the hot cream for fifteen minutes.
Strain the cream and place into the refrigerator for an hour.
Meanwhile, slice peaches in half, remove the pits. I like to scoop out pit residue in case any hard bits remain – your teeth will thank me. See how I went all Quentin Tarantino on the middle guy on top.
Brush peaches with butter. As the recipe recommended, I used softened butter, but think you should melt it and use half of the amount without losing flavor.
Sprinkle on sugar and salt. And bake.
You could just devour these now or hold out for the cream. Set aside baked peaches to cool.
Remove chilled, steeped, strained whipping cream from the refrigerator. Add sugar. You’ll see I used two sugars – cane sugar for the peaches and bakers sugar for the cream. Cane sugar is my preference, but because it doesn’t dissolve well, I used bakers which is refined – gasp!
Whip at high speed until peaks form. You’ll get best results with fresh cream and cold tools.
Dollop a good amount of whipped cream in a bowl, top with a baked peach, toss torn lemon verbena leaves about and for you ambitious types, lace with shaved lemon zest.
Are we dessert people now? Your mouth will thank me.
roasted peaches & lemon verbena creme
preptime 20 minutes, plus 1 hour for refrigeration 3-6 servings (1 or 2 halves each)
baketime 20-25 minutes
3/4 c heavy whipping cream (half & half will also whip up)
1/8 c packed fresh lemon verbena leaves*
3 large ripe peaches, halved and pitted
2 tbsp melted butter
pinch of kosher salt
3 tbsp sugar divided (I used 1 tbsp baker’s sugar for cream and 2 tbsp cane sugar for peaches)
- Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan.
- Remove from heat; add 1/4 cup lemon verbena. Cover. Let steep 15 minutes.
- Strain cream into a medium bowl. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 450°. Place peaches in a baking dish. Brush with butter and sprinkle with salt and 2 tbsp. sugar.
- Roast until peaches start to caramelize, 20–25 minutes. Let cool in dish.
- Beat infused cream and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar to soft peaks.
- Serve peaches with cream and torn lemon verbena.
*instead of lemon verbena leaves, you can use the zest of lemon. Using a vegetable peeler (or paring knife), shave off pieces of lemon zest from a cleaned lemon. Remove only the yellow zest, not the bitter white pith closest to the pulp. Infuse the cream in the same manner stated above.
Crunchtime breakfast idea: Preheat oven to 350°. Chop baked peach half into individual ramekins. For two servings: in small bowl mix: 1/3 c rolled oats, 1/4 c flour, 1/2 tsp salt. In another small bowl: melt 2 tablespoons butter in microwave, add 1/8 c brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon to butter. Pour dry ingredients into butter/sugar mixture and combine until topping is crumbly. If really dry, mix in more butter. Divide topping between the two ramekins and pat down. Bake for 20 minutes. You’re family will thank you for the fragrant kitchen and warm breakfast treat. Serve with milk for that protein balance.
peaches and cream recipe adapted from bon appetit and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com