Charles E. Walton IV
Yield
Makes 6 servings

This custard would also be good in individual bowls, topped with bananas or other fruit, and sprinkled with sugar before browning. Prep: 20 minutes, Cook: 15 minutes, Chill: Up to 3 hours.

How to Make It

Step 1

Place cream in a medium saucepan. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape in seeds, and add bean pod; bring to a simmer, and turn off heat.

Step 2

Combine 1/3 cup sugar and egg yolks in a mixing bowl, whisking until smooth. Slowly add warm cream to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Set bowl containing egg mixture over a saucepan of simmering water. (Do not allow bowl to touch water.) Whisk mixture constantly about 9 minutes or until it reaches 180° and coats back of spoon. Remove bowl from heat, and place in an ice bath, stirring occasionally with a spatula; allow mixture to cool completely. (Or cool to room temperature, cover, and chill overnight.) Mixture will thicken slightly while cooling.

Step 3

Cut tops off peaches, and carefully hollow them out, discarding pit. (Slice a thin portion from bottoms, if needed, to help peaches sit upright.) Fill each peach with about 1/4 cup custard, smoothing so mixture is even with top of peach. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 hours.

Step 4

Sprinkle a thin layer of sugar onto each custard-filled peach; caramelize sugar using a kitchen torch, keeping torch moving at all times for even coloring. Serve within 1 hour of browning sugar.

Il Palio Ristorante, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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