Chocolate’s okay, but I prefer a really intense fruit taste. You know when a peach is absolutely perfect… it’s sublime. I’d like to capture that and then use it in a dessert. – Kathy Mattea
Cherries may mark the beginning of Summer, but tree ripened peaches let you know it’s here, for real. The farmer’s market in Portland is currently flooded with beautiful peaches grown in Hood River, Oregon. This is the perfect dessert for when you want something quick, easy and simple enough that even a four year old with a plastic knife and a very short attention span can make.
Peaches have been eaten for 1,000’s of years. They originated in China where they enjoyed an almost cult-like status. In 1977, researchers unearthed the preserved body of a woman buried in 200 BC found with a bowl of peaches. Peaches were a symbol of immortality. A steamed roll the shape of a peach is served on birthdays called shoutao which translates to ‘long life peach’. Marco Polo reported finding peaches weighing a full two pounds each. Eventually they found their way to Europe where King Louis the XIV was an enthusiastic fan. He reportedly gave pension to a man who grew the beat peaches just outside of Paris for him. Though Louis even shared them with American Indians was were brought to France it is said that the Spaniards are credited with bringing them to our shores. The Natchez Indians became such fervent fans that they even named one of their thirteen months after peaches.
This recipe is so simple it needs no official transcription. Simply cut peaches in half, top with a giant knob of grass fed butter and sprinkle liberally with brown sugar. Put in broiler as close to flame as possible and cook till the sugar caramelized. Mix a 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of sugar in a small pan and bring to a furious boil. Add a vanilla bean split in two. Pour any juices from the broiled peaches into it and use this as your sauce. Top with a spoonful of your favorite ice cream and enjoy the lingering tastes of Summer.