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Get out the Grill: Celebrate Summer with a Sweet Treat

By: Holley Grainger, MS, RD

Welcome summer! What better way to ring in the first day of summer than with a simple and delicious fruit dessert that highlights the bounty of in-season produce. These grilled peaches soaked in brandy and topped with vanilla whipped cream, lightly sweetened blackberries and toasted almonds are the perfect dessert to serve at your next backyard barbecue.

Many a weeknight and weekend meal during the summer is cooked on our gas grill or our Big Green Egg. We’ve had fun experimenting with all varieties of foods from grilled salads to grilled pizza but hands down our favorite fun food on the grill is dessert – especially grilled peaches. Nothing beats the flavor of a warm, juicy and sweet peach from the grill (especially when you top it with ice cream, whipped cream, or butter and brown sugar).

No grill? Raining too hard to go outside to grill? Out of propane again (a constant for us)? No problem! Use a grill pan indoors to get the same gorgeous grill marks.

Make Brandy-Soaked Grilled Peaches with Vanilla Whipped Cream

Soak the peaches in brandy for at least 15 minutes. If you’re serving to children or people who don’t drink (or eat) alcohol, you can leave this step out. However, when alcohol is heated/cooked, the ethanol is cooked out but the flavor still remains. Brandy adds an additional depth of flavor and highlights the sweetness of the peaches.

Lightly sweeten the blackberries with sugar and toast the almonds. If your blackberries are more sweet than tart or if you want to cut back on some of the sugar in this recipe, feel free to leave the blackberries as is.

Of course, you can buy whipped topping in the can or in the freezer section but nothing compares to making your own sweetened whipped cream. And a little goes a long way – especially when it starts to melt over the hot peaches. Mmmm! Whipped cream can also be made ahead so if you’re entertaining make it ahead and store in the fridge until you pull the peaches off the grill.

The beauty of this recipe is that it can easily be doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled to feed a crowd. I also love to cut peaches in half and then fill the center with topping for a heartier dessert. However you choose to serve, a final drizzle of honey pulls all the flavors together and makes a show-stopping, memorable summer dessert.

 Ingredients

  • 2 fresh peaches, skin on and cut into quarters
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • ½ cup blackberries
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • honey, for drizzling

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, drizzle peaches with 2 tablespoons brandy. Toss blackberries in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon sugar. Allow fruit to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  2. While the fruit rests, preheat the grill to medium-high heat, put the bowl of a stand mixer and the whisk attachment in the freezer to cool, and toast the almonds in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently or until they are lightly toasted and fragrant. Transfer to a plate to cool. 
  3. Brush clean grill grates with olive oil and place peaches, flesh side down, on the grill. Grill for 5 minutes then turn to grill the other side, about 2 minutes more or until grill marks appear and peaches are tender. Set aside.
  4. To make whipped cream, reattach chilled bowl and whisk attachment to stand mixer then combine whipping cream, vanilla and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in the mixing bowl. Beat on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until cream is whipped and fluffy.
  5. Serve grilled peaches topped with whipped cream, sugared blackberries and toasted almonds. Drizzle with honey if desired.

Holley Grainger, MS, RD is a nationally recognized culinary nutrition expert and “Mommy Dietitian in the Kitchen” who instructs families on how to make doable and delicious meals. She’s been featured in hundreds of televisions, print, and radio segments nationwide including The Dr. Oz Show, The Doctor’s, NBC’s Today Show and Weekend Today, CBS’s The Early Show, Fox News Channel, CNN, The New York Times, Travel Channel, Cosmopolitan, MyFitnessPal.com, HGTV.com, and MSN.com among others and is a regular contributor to the Birmingham, Alabama, news outlets.

Holley lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband and two young daughters, Ellie and Frances, and blogs at Holley Grainger Nutrition. Connect with Holley on social media: Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook.

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