Grilled fruit with ice cream on top drizzled in salted caramel and homemade cookie crumbs? You've. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me.
We ordered 25 pounds of Georgia peaches from the local fruit club, so I've been enjoying the bounty of super juicy peaches for the last week or so. One night, I had Dan plop a few on the grill and we made these wonderful grilled peach splits from Smitten Kitchen's site (if you haven't seen it and don't have her cookbook, you are missing out!)
I didn't make the whipped cream (mainly, because I forgot) but that might have been too decadent, even for me. These are rich enough with the cookie crumbs and ice cream and salted caramel. I used honey instead of maple syrup on the peaches, and used that delicious (but insanely expensive) Madagascar bourbon vanilla for the salted caramel, and it was absolutely sinful.
The caramel comes together beautifully for a silky-smooth salted caramel, but while you're making it, be prepared to think it's going to fail. It gets chunky before it becomes smooth, and the entire time you will be thinking it is one of those Pinterest fails. Be calm and carry on. It turns out beautifully. Trust.
I was too busy digging in to these fabulous peach splits to whip out my actual camera, so an iPhone photo for now must suffice. Enjoy!
Grilled Peach Splits
1/2 c. raw pecans
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. coarse sugar, like turbinado or Sugar in the Raw (granulated if you have neither)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract or bourbon
2/3 c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. heavy or whipping cream
1 Tbsp. bourbon or whiskey or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Heaped 1/4 tsp. flaky salt or level 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 c. heavy or whipping cream
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. crème fraîche or sour cream
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Butter, for grill
4 large firm-ripe peaches, halved and pitted
2-3 Tbsp. maple syrup or honey
1 tsp. cinnamon sugar
1 pint vanilla ice cream
Make crumbs: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick baking mat. Spread nuts out in one layer and bake, stirring occasionally, until well-browned (10-13 minutes), tossing once or twice. Cool the nuts. Leave oven on and tray lined with parchment.
Place cooled pecans, flour, sugars, salt and baking powder in a food processor and blend until the nuts are as powdery as possible without turning to paste. Add melted butter and vanilla and pulse machine until large and small crumbs form. Spread out on baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, then move crumbs around for even browning, and bake for another 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely on rack, then transfer to a jar. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.
Make caramel: Place sugar in the bottom of a medium-sized heavy saucepan. Set over medium heat. In a few minutes, the sugar will begin to melt. Use a spoon or spatula to stir it as it melts, breaking up any chunks as needed. Stir continuously until the melted sugar takes on an amber color, which usually happens at about the same time the last sugar chunk melts. Remove from heat and carefully stir in cream, just a little drizzle at first (it will hiss and splatter) and then the rest. If it re-solidifies, return saucepan to stove over medium-low and stir until sugar melts again. Let caramel sauce cool slightly before adding bourbon or vanilla and salt. Store caramel sauce in a glass container for up to 1 week in the fridge. Rewarm to loosen the caramel into a sauce consistency, as needed. If using within a couple of hours, it can be left out.
Make whipped cream: Using a clean bowl and whisk (electric or a regular large one), whip cream and sugar, if using, until it holds soft peaks. Whisk in crème fraîche or sour cream, and vanilla. Keep chilled until needed.
Grill peaches: Heat your grill to medium/medium-low and butter it generously. Brush peach halves with maple syrup and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or just cinnamon. Place cut side down on grill and grill gently and slowly, between 10-20 minutes, until they take on nice grill marks and are mostly tender to the touch. Brush a little extra maple syrup on top when done, if desired. If you'd like to grill these in advance, they can be warmed before serving in a low-temperature oven.
Assemble splits: Place a peach half, face up, in a shallow bowl. Top with ice cream, caramel, whipped cream and a handful of cookie crumbs.
Source: Modified slightly from http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/07/grilled-peach-splits-news/