This simple preparation for fresh fruit is a great way to utilize the grill for more than just charring meat! The natural sugars in the fruit are enhanced by the cinnamon sugar, which caramelizes on the grill to create gorgeous, sweet grill marks. Dress them up, or eat them as-is: either way these sweet peaches will sing a sweet song of summer!
Psst…This recipe is in our new Gilded Fork cookbook!
4 ripe peaches, pitted and halved
1 14 oz. can coconut milk, unsweetened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ cups sugar, course ground, if available
Mint sprigs, for garnish
Cinnamon or vanilla ice cream, if desired
[Chef’s Note: As peach season approaches, numerous varieties might be available. Within those myriad varieties exists a subdivision: freestone peaches. This simply means that their pit comes out easily when the peach is cut in half or when segments are removed. In the case of the non-freestones, the flesh could stubbornly stick to the pit. While there is no flavor difference, it may be easier to get perfect halves when using freestone peaches.]
Outdoor grill or
Cast iron grill pan
Heat a cast iron grill pan over medium high heat, or preheat an outdoor grill.
[Chef’s Note: If grilling with charcoal, the coals should be grey and ashy with no flame. As this is a dessert recipe, the coals should be past their hottest point after grilling the main course. When ready to grill, just scrape down the grill grate with a wire brush and lightly oil it.]
Clean and dry the peaches, and cut in half, removing the stones. Shake the coconut milk well to emulsify the liquid and then open the can, pouring it into a shallow, wide dish. Mix the sugar and cinnamon well, and pour into another shallow dish.
Dip the cut side of each peach half first in coconut milk, then in the sugar mixture, and shake off any excess sugar. Arrange the peaches on the hot grate and grill until nicely browned on both sides (longer on the flat side than then round side), about 15 minutes total. To create cross hatched grill marks, rotate the peach halves a little while still grilling on the cut side, after about 4-6 minutes.
Transfer the peach halves to plates or a platter for serving and garnish with mint sprigs. Alternatively, you may serve them in bowls over ice cream, 2 halves per serving.
You may also use this sweet grilling technique for pineapple, bananas, plums, or nectarines. Cut the bananas in half like for a banana split, and take them off the grill sooner.
You may also use melted butter in place of the coconut milk, if desired.
Recipe by Mark Tafoya