by guest blogger, Kelly Madey,
I am still very much in vacation mode, despite the fact that vacation officially ended last week. As I sit here, staring at the aftermath of our trip—a gigantic pile of laundry and a few extra pounds on my hips—I completely lack the motivation to tackle either;
And I think to myself, wouldn’t it be grand if I could have the hotel experience at home?
Well, not our actual hotel experience, which involved me yelling at the boys not to put down their luggage, or use the bathroom until I sprayed every inch of the hotel room with my travel sized disinfectant spray;
I mean a 5-star hotel experience in my own home, where the laundry is simply stuffed in a bag, hung on the door, and— poof—I awaken to clean, pressed, and pleasantly scented clothing;
And I enjoy a delicious breakfast in bed with the dirty dishes whisked away as soon as I take my last bite;
Having actual free time, I head to the gym, only to return home to find that maid service has already been through, the whole house sparkling clean and lemony fresh.
The concierge realizes that I can’t physically be in two places at the exact same time, so he orders car service to pick up one kid from pre-season sports practice and the other from a friend’s house on the opposite side of town, but not before getting every item on the two page back-to-school supply list.
What a shame to be jolted back to the reality of two starving children, and a husband looking for clean underwear. I guess it’s time to get back into the swing of things around here before vacation really ends and I head back to work.
So I set out to restock our post vacation food supply, making my rounds to the local farmers’ markets, ending with a sweet visit to Manoff Market Gardens for fragrant and delicious peaches.
Manoff has a variety of peaches such as Raritan Rose, John Boy, Red Haven, and Donut peaches. I didn’t know which type of peach was best for grilling.
Fortunately there is always a cheerful someone to help. Yellow peaches were recommended, and just before I left, I was given a perfectly ripe peach to eat on the way home.
Before I grill the peaches, I make an unusual caramel sauce. It has butter, as any good caramel sauce should,
But the big flavor comes from local Rocky Ridge Maple syrup blended with a little brown sugar:
I add the sugar and maple syrup to the melted butter until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly. This takes less than five minutes.
I place a lid on the caramel for the last two minutes because sometimes sugar can crystallize along the sides of the pan. If you have ever had gritty caramel, this is why. The condensation from the covered pan helps to wash down any sugar crystals. The result is a smooth and silky caramel sauce. A little cream and vanilla finish the sauce.
Once the peaches have nice grill marks, it’s time to put the Oh Wow! into this dessert, as in OwowCow Creamery. Their small batch, locally sourced ice cream is beyond amazing. I stopped in for vanilla ice cream and they had three different types: Indonesian, Madagascar, and Tahitian. The Indonesian vanilla ice cream was recommended because of its smoky tones.
The final dessert was a big hit with the boys, and with just two more weeks left of summer, I savored every peachy keen bite.
Grilled Peaches with Maple Caramel Sauce and Ice Cream
3 TBSP unsalted butter
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup, plus 1 TBSP
pinch of salt
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 peaches, sliced in half, pit removed
1 TBSP neutral oil
1 pint vanilla ice cream
For caramel sauce:
- Melt butter over low heat in a medium saucepan.
- Add brown sugar, maple syrup, and salt. Stir until no lumps of brown sugar remain. Increase heat to medium and cook until sugar is dissolved, about 3-4 minutes.
- Place a lid on the saucepan and cook for 1-2 minutes longer.
- Whisk in heavy cream until smooth, and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Sauce will thicken as it cools.
- Preheat the grill to medium/high or heat a grill pan over medium heat on a stove top.
- Brush the cut-side of the peaches with oil and place cut side down on the grill. Cook until peaches have nice grill marks and soften a little.
- Turn peaches over and brush with remaining tablespoon of maple syrup. Remove from heat.
Serve warm peaches with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
Manoff Market Gardens in Solebury is open Monday through Saturday. They offer a variety of peaches, blackberries, jams, and fresh flowers, and an amazing variety of apples in the fall.
OwowCow Creamery has three locations in Ottsville, Wrightstown, and Lambertville. They make a variety of small batch ice cream with deliciously unusual flavors. Their ice cream cakes are what dreams are made of.
Rocky Ridge Maple syrup is available at several local farmers’ markets and through their website. They also offer maple sugar and maple candy.
Kelly Madey makes amazing baked goods. Check out her website One Sweet Baker. All of the photos in this article were taken by her.