Monday, August 3, 2015

grilled peaches with coconut whipped cream

I was thinking about the content of my blog, and decided I was lacking in dessert recipes. I tend to share healthier recipes as a natural result of focusing on what produce is in season. As a personal choice, I tend to eat plant-based, and my shared recipes reflect that. However,  it would be entirely misleading for me to not include dessert. I have a huge sweet tooth, and I am always looking to find healthier ways to satisfy that. Enter this recipe for grilled peaches with coconut whipped cream. Click through to see the steps and recipe!

First, you'll want to start with ripe peaches. Ideally, they are firm enough that you can cut them in half and twist them apart without turning them to mush in the process. The fruit should have a slight give when you squeeze it, but it shouldn't be completely soft. The best way to do this is to buy straight from a farmer's market. Otherwise, you may have to buy the peaches a few days ahead and let them ripen at home.

Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Which leads to another point - don't buy cling peaches for this recipe! You want to be able to remove the pit fairly easily. I nudge it out with a small knife pretty easily with these freestone peaches.

Preheat your grill to medium low heat. If you are like me and live in an urban apartment without summer grilling access - a cast iron grill pan works wonders! I preheated mine on medium low heat for a few minutes before starting.

Once your grill(pan) is nice and hot, brush half of the peaches very lightly with maple syrup. This light coating will caramelize and leave nice grill marks on the fruit.

Place the brushed peach halves cut side down on the grill pan.

Don't move the peaches while they cook for about 5 minutes. You can peek to see if grill marks have darkened and if the peach has started to caramelize. Remove the peaches when this happens, and repeat with the remaining halves.

Now, these grilled peaches are delicious as is, but you can make it feel a bit fancier by adding some whipped cream! One of my favorite discoveries through other food blogs was the idea to whip up coconut cream into a light, plant-based whipped topping. There's a great comparison of different coconut brands here. I haven't had trouble with TJ's coconut cream, which doesn't require separation like regular coconut milk would (See notes section).

Add one cup of chilled coconut cream to a small mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip until you see soft peaks form and the cream begin to thicken and hold its shape. At this point, add in a teaspoon of maple syrup, then continue to whip for a few more minutes.

Once the whipped cream can hold its shape, you are good to go! Coconut whipped cream stays pretty soft - more like a whipped topping than a traditional stiff whipped cream.

Arrange your grilled peaches on a platter, with grill marks facing up.

Using a spoon or small cookie scoop, dollop a bit of the whipped coconut cream onto each peach. I try to position it right where the pit of the peach was, to let those beautiful grill marks shine! I topped it with some chopped fresh mint for color contrast and refreshing garnish.

grilled peaches with coconut whipped cream
8 servings (serves 4-8)

  • 4 ripe peaches
  • maple syrup, for brushing peaches
  • fresh mint leaves, chopped
for topping:
  • 1 cup coconut cream*
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

  1. Preheat a grill or a grill pan to medium low heat. If using a grill pan, it is ready when it sizzles in reaction to a light sprinkle of water.
  2. Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits with a small paring knife, taking care not to bruise them.
  3. Lightly brush 4 of the peach halves with maple syrup. You don't need a thick coating here, just enough to cover the cut surface.
  4. Place these 4 peach halves cut side down onto the grill(pan). Leave in place for  about 5 minutes, checking for grill marks as needed. When the peaches have lightly cooked on the surface and you see grill marks, remove them from the grill or pan.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the remaining 4 peach halves.
  6. Arrange the grilled peaches cut side up on a dish and set aside.
For the whipped topping:
  1. Put 1 cup of coconut whipped cream in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Using an electric mixer, whip the coconut cream until it begins to thicken and hold its shape in the bowl, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of maple syrup to the thickened cream, and continue to beat for 3-5 more minutes until the texture thickens and can be scooped with a spoon. The goal is not a stiff whipped cream, but rather a soft whipped topping.
  4. Spoon about 1 tablespoon, or your desired amount, of whipped coconut cream onto the grilled peaches. Garnish with chopped mint and serve!

  • *Coconut cream is different from coconut milk! Both are typically sold in a can, so check the label closely to see. Both can be used to make the whipped topping, but I've had more consistent results with pure coconut cream. If you can only find coconut milk, you'll see that it has separated in the can after chilling. Save the liquid that you pour off (this makes a good smoothie add in!), and only use the thick cream for the recipe.
  • You'll end up with extra coconut whipped cream. It is harder to whip a smaller amount, however, so I recommend using no less than 1 cup to start. The leftover whipped coconut cream keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge for future fruit topping!


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