Photo: Oxmoor House 
Hands-on Time
11 Mins
Total Time
30 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 peach and 2 tablespoons syrup)

No one's complaining about peaches, bourbon, and sugar. This recipe allows you some practice with your steam-peeling technique and provides a little nip of whiskey if you don't get it perfect the first time. This dish is amazing when turned into a browned butter blender sauce (see Brown-Buttered Mango Coulis) or when served with grilled meats or roasted chicken. It also makes a killer accompaniment to ice cream.

How to Make It

Step 1

Wash and dry the peaches.

Step 2

Score the bottoms of each peach with a 1/2-inch "X."

Step 3

In the pot that underlies your standard steamer configuration, combine the sugar, 2 cups water, bourbon, salt, and juice. Go ahead and throw the halved lemon in the syrup for a little bitter punctuation if you are so inclined; otherwise discard it.

Step 4

Bring the syrup to a full rolling boil.

Step 5

Place the peaches in the steamer basket, scored side up, and cover the steamer. Steam for 3 minutes, or until the peel starts to "open" up away from the score marks.

Step 6

Remove the steamer basket from the steamer configuration (leave the peaches in it), and set aside to cool for a few moments, until the peaches can be handled safely.

Step 7

Back at the stove, the syrup should be rolling away at a boil (and some lovely peach juices should have dripped into it).

Step 8

Over medium-high heat, reduce the syrup 5 minutes, until it coats the back of a spoon and is about the consistency of real maple syrup at room temperature.

Step 9

Turn off the syrup and let it rest.

Step 10

The peaches should be cool enough to peel. With clean hands, peel from the "X" toward the stem end of the peach. You should be able to remove the peel in 4 easy "fillets."

Step 11

Using a paring knife, halve the peaches. Then tumble them in the syrup to coat.

Step 12

Serve the peaches, slightly warm or at room temperature, with about 2 tablespoons of the reduced syrup.

Cooking Light Mad Delicious

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