“LIFE IS BETTER THAN DEATH, I BELIEVE, IF ONLY BECAUSE IT IS LESS BORING, AND IT HAS FRESH PEACHES IN IT.” Alice Walker.
You like peaches, right? I thought so!
And how about crème brûlée? YES! Me, too!!!
So it’s inevitable…..they have to come together! Two simple flavors come together to create such a sweet medley in your mouth. Just get yourself some of these fresh, ripe, juicy peaches…..mix a simple sweet vanilla custard on the stove. A sprinkling of sugar….and a little caramelization! This is going down as one of my all time favorite summer desserts! Wait till you see what it looks like when you start scooping!!!……
Oh baby! Look how pretty…..
What compelled me to try this recipe is that I wanted a recipe that would naturally use summer peaches as they are at their peak. Nothing beats a fresh, juicy peach. Except when you add a smooth, sweet vanilla custard. The flavors do not compete and work rather harmoniously together. Just top it off with a crisp, caramel top. You will be amazed at how simple and elegant this dessert is.
Level of Difficulty: easy
Yields: 6 servings
Peaches and Cream Brûlée:
- 6 whole, ripe peaches
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 of a cup of sugar
- 6 large egg yolks
- 4-6 teaspoons of sugar
Place the cream in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape in the seeds. Add the entire bean pod and bring to a simmer. Then turn off the heat. Add the vanilla extract.
Combine the egg yolks and the sugar in a mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Slowly add the warm cream, a little at a time, to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. (Discard the bean pods at this point…I found it made the upcoming whisking easier to do.) Set the bowl with the egg mixture on top of a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Whisk mixture constantly about 10-15 minutes until it reaches a temperature of 180°F and the custard coats the back of a spoon. (Unlike creme brulee, this custard will not go into the oven, so make sure you bring it to this temperature to be sure the eggs are cooked.) Remove the bowl from the heat and allow it to cool completely. The custard will also thicken as it cools. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the custard to avoid it getting a skin, and then chill overnight.
Cut the tops off of the peaches. You may also need to cut a small piece from the bottom to assure they will sit flat. Carefully remove the pit with a spoon and hollow them out a bit. Make sure this is not much juice in the bowl of the peach or the custard will get runny. Spoon or pipe the custard into the centers of the peach so that the mixture is even with the top of the peach. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Sprinkle a thin layer of sugar (about 1 tsp) on top of the custard filled peach. Caramelize the sugar using your kitchen torch. Remember to keep it moving for even coloring. Best served within an hour of caramelizing. But DON’T forget to scoop up some of the peach along with the custard. And guess what? When you are done with the center…..you can eat the ‘bowl’!!!
Recipe adapted from Cottage Living