Peaches take to the grill like fish to water. Quick cooking over hot flames brings out their natural juiciness and intensifies their deep summer sweetness. Based on that description you might be inclined to think that throwing them on the grill would be a reasonable way to improve the flavor of less-than-perfect peaches. You would be correct. The effect of fixing those less-than-ripe peaches gets intensified when you add some additional brown sugar and cinnamon.
For the best results, start with peaches (any type will do) that are firm with just a little give when you give them a gentle squeeze with your whole hand. Long story short, you want them to smell like peaches, especially if you sniff their stem end. They don't have to be perfectly ripe, but one rule of thumb to keep in mind is that nine times out of ten, the better the aroma, the better the flavor.
This recipe is best with fresh, seasonal produce, as you might expect, and perhaps after you've made enough pies and crumbles and you want something simpler. Serve grilled peaches as a side dish (they are particularly delicious alongside grilled pork) or in salads. Or you can turn them into a delicious dessert by pairing them with cool yogurt, whipped cream, or with scoops of ice cream.
- 1 peach (per person)
- 1 teaspoon neutral-flavored cooking oil (per peach)
- Optional: 1 tablespoon brown sugar (per whole peach)
- Optional: 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (per whole peach)
- For Serving: Crème fraîche, if desired
Gather the ingredients.
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat: You should be able to hold your hand about an inch above the cooking grate for 3 to 4 seconds before pulling it away from the heat. If you are also using the grill to cook something else that requires more heat, place the peaches around the edges; they're cooler. Or cook dinner, let the fire cool down, and then grill the peaches.
Cut the peaches in half and pit them.
Lightly brush the peaches with the oil, being particularly aware of coating the cut sides well.
Set the oiled peaches cut side down on the medium hot grill. Make sure they aren't touching so the hot air of the grill can circulate around each piece.
Cook the peaches until grill marks form, turning as necessary. Then, flip the peach halves over, sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar, if using. Cook until the peaches are tender, but not falling apart, about 8 minutes total (4 minutes per side).
Serve grilled peaches hot, warm, or even at room temperature. Serve with dollops of crème fraîche if desired. Enjoy!
Can You Grilled Canned Peaches?
You can definitely grill canned peaches. The key here is to make sure they are as dry as possible, so drain them well and pat them dry with paper or kitchen towels. Then, proceed with the recipe as directed.
- Use cold-pressed grapeseed oil or canola oil for a clean flavor that doesn't interfere with the flavor of the peaches in any way.
- If you don't want to add cinnamon and/or sugar, you can cut them into wedges, if you like. Peeling the peaches isn't necessary for the grill, but if you want to, you can.
- Mix up the fruit: Add some plums, pluots, nectarines, or other orchard fruits to the grill—you can cook them the same way.
- Use cardamom instead of cinnamon: It's a nice switch from the more common cinnamon.
- Create buttery richness: Add a pat of butter along with the brown sugar for even more of a glazed effect.