Tales from the Big Green Egg: Roasted Peaches with Pecan Praline Stuffing
If you’ve never ended a great grilled summer meal with a fresh fruit dessert cooked over the hot coals, you’re missing out! It’s time to start. From rum-soaked pineapple slices grilled directly on the grate to this roasted peach treat, dessert cooked over an open flame is a summertime must-have.
One of the great things about a Big Green Egg is that it’s so easy to regulate the temperature; plus, the Egg can handle cooking temperatures everywhere from 200 degrees for a Boston butt to 700 degrees for searing a steak. This recipe calls for roasting the peaches at 400 degrees, which is a nice medium-high heat that’s not going to be far off from the temperatures at which you’ll cook most main dishes – like chicken breast, salmon, shrimp, etc. Just have everything prepped before you take your main course off the Egg, then let the peaches cook while you enjoy dinner.
To start, cut the peaches in half and remove the pit. The Big Green Egg folks recommend “freestone” peaches (as opposed to “clingstone), where the pit is easily removed; the peaches I found at Publix weren’t labeled one way or the other, but I have a sneaking suspicion they were clingstone because that pit was awfully tough to get out! Well worth the effort, though. After that, dip the cut sides in lemon juice and put in a ceramic or glass baking dish, cut side up.
Next, prepare the streusel, stirring together light brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg, then cut in 3 tablespoons of butter using a pastry blender. This will form a crumbly streusel. (Since we watch carbs and sugars where we can, I actually substituted the Splenda Brown Sugar Blend for the light brown sugar. Still delicious!) Fold the chopped pecans into the flour mixture, then spoon 2 tablespoons into each peach half. Cut up the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and scatter around the peaches in the baking dish.
Cook the peaches with the dish directly on the grill grate for 20 minutes, or until the peaches have started to get nice and soft. We didn’t have any on hand, but this dessert would be great paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some Cool Whip.
Here’s the full recipe for those of you that would like to try it at home:
Roasted Peaches with Pecan Praline Stuffing
Peaches are a member of the rose family. There are many varieties, and they are usually classified by their pit or stone. In a clingstone peach, the flesh clings most tightly to the pit. These are the sweetest and juiciest of the peaches. However, the freestone is the peach usually found in your local grocery. The pit of the freestone is easily removed, making it ideal for eating or baking. For this simple dessert, use ripe and juicy freestone peaches, fill them with pecan praline stuffing, and bake in the EGG. Dessert doesn’t get any better or easier than this!
4 ripe peaches, unpeeled
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3⁄4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon table salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1⁄4 cup chopped pecans
Equipment: Porcelain coated grid, 9 by 13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish
Set the EGG for direct cooking with the porcelain coated grid.
Preheat the EGG to 400ºF.
Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Using a teaspoon, core the red centers from each of the peach halves. Dip the cut side of each peach into the lemon juice. Place the peaches in the baking dish, cut side up.
In a medium bowl, stir the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg until completely blended. Add 3 tablespoons of the butter to the flour mixture. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the pieces of butter are pea size. Using a spatula, fold the chopped pecans into the flour mixture until the pecans and the flour mixture are completely combined. Place 2 tablespoons of the filling into the center of each peach half. Put the peaches inside the baking dish and put the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in the pan.
Place the baking dish on the grid. Close the lid of the EGG and bake for 20 minutes, or until the stuffing has set and the peaches begin to soften. Remove the dish and let the peaches rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8
—From Big Green Egg Cookbook/Andrews McMeel Publishing