Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Vanilla Baked Peaches and Blueberries

On Saturday night I wanted a light and fruity dessert and came across a recipe for Vanilla Baked Peaches and Blueberries in the John Ash book. I was rushing the peach season and bought 3 peaches at the grocery store. Sadly, they were not very good at all - gritty, not sweet and wouldn't peel even though they were ripe - and one was moldy inside. However, after the 2 non-moldy peaches roasted for awhile, they tasted quite good. I will try this recipe again when we are abundant with peaches later in the summer. I need to learn to work with what's in season, even though these summery fresh fruit recipes are tempting.

I halved the below recipe because there were only two of us and we still had some leftovers for the next day!

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup crisp, light-bodied white wine (I used Chardonnay)
2 3x1/2-inch strips of orange zest
1 small cinnamon stick broken in half (I didn't have sticks so I added 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, which works well too)
1 3-inch vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used extract)
6 large ripe peaches, halved & pitted (I peeled them too because I hate peach skin)
4 small 1-inch sprigs of rosemary, optional (I didn't use but I definitely will when my herb garden is in full swing this summer)
2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degress. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, wine, zest, cinnamon and vanilla (if using bean, slit and scrape seeds into pan). Over medium heat, bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes or so. Remove the pan from the heat.
Place the peaches cut side up in a baking dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Tuck rosemary sprigs, if using, in between the peaches and pour the sugar syrup over them. Bake for 30-35 minutes, basting freqently or until the peaches are cooked through but still maintain their shape. After 20 minutes, you can sprinkle the blueberries around the peaches to let them soften just a little and infuse the peaches and syrup with their flavor. Don't leave the blueberries in for longer than 10 minutes or they'll get mushy. Or you don't have to roast the blueberries at all.
Spoon the fruits and syrup into bowls and serve warm or at room temperature with creme fraiche, yogurt or ice cream.
We ate our's warm with vanilla ice cream!

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