Plucking fruit from a tree makes me impossibly happy. I am not sure if it is the nostalgic element or the fact that I know I am going to be biting into something delicious. Over the holiday weekend we went peach picking which also led us to picking our own vegetables, something I haven't done since I was a child. We are in the prime of tomato, zucchini and eggplant and let me say I took full advantage. I picked so many cherry and sun gold tomatoes that have been eating them non-stop. We headed up to Fishkill Farms, my favorite by far in upstate New York not only for what they produce but also the rolling green hills and the mountains in the distance. Peaches were at their peak, I gladly stuffed bags full eager to eat and bake with them. Instead of doing a traditional peach pie I decided to make something a little lighter. I roasted peaches in the oven and then topped them with Lemon Verbena Cream, an incredibly fast and easy dessert.
Peaches with Lemon Verbena Cream
3 peaches cut in half, pits removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
sugar, to taste
For Lemon Verbena Cream
1 cup whipping cream
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup lemon verbena leaves packed (if not available, mint will all work), plus more for garnish
Directions: Place heavy cream in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Add lemon verbena leaves and allow to steep for about 20 minutes on the stove. Next, chill cream until completely cooled, at least two hours. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place peaches in a baking dish. Brush cut side with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 35 minutes or until peaches begin to caramelize. Once baked, let cool in pan.
For Assembly: Whip lemon verbena cream until soft peaks form. Place a dollop on the peaches. Garnish with remaining lemon verbena leaves.
Recipe slightly adapted from Bon Appétit