Peaches, called qua-na, in Cherokee, have been an integral part of Cherokee cooking since at least the 1600's. July is peach season. This simple dessert combines sugar, cinnamon, butter and peaches into caramelized goodness.
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Yields: 4 servings
4 Peaches, ripe but still firm, cut in half, pit removed
Canola or vegetable oil
8 tablespoonsbutter (not margarine)
8 tablespoonslight brown sugar
Place a cast iron grill pan on medium heat. If using an outdoor grill, set to medium heat or prepare the grill so the peaches can be placed on a area of the grill with medium heat.
Cream the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon together and set aside.
Brush the cut side of the peaches with oil. Place the flat side down on the grill and grill until the natural sugars in the peaches caramelize slightly, about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes.
After about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, flip the peaches over with the flat side up. Sprinkle each peach with salt. Mound the center of each peach with about a tablespoon of the brown sugar and butter mixture. Allow to remain on medium heat for another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until the butter melts and the sugar slightly caramelizes.
Arrange the halves on a platter, cut-side up. Serve warm as is or add a dollop of homemade vanilla ice cream.
To tell if a peach is ripe, hold it to your nose. If it smells like a peach then its ripe. The stronger the smell, the more ripe it is. If you smell nothing, leave it in the bin. For this recipe select ripe, but still firm peaches. Soft peaches will disintegrate on the grill.