Who wants to worry about dessert when you fire up the grill? And how many times can you serve just plain-old ice cream? That warm-weather favorite takes a back seat to naturally-sweetened fruit, resulting in a satisfying, just-right finish to the end of a great meal. Think of the old adage ‘Waste not, want not”: you’ve got some hot coals still left, why not use them to grill for as long as they last?
Stone-fruits are beautiful to grill when the coals are still warm, as their dense flesh takes to a warm grill perfectly; the sugars in the fruits caramelize when heated, creating a taste that makes you think again about how fruit is eaten. Just when everything savory you cook on your wood-charcoal grill is done, throw some stone fruit on the grill racks and enjoy your meal. No turning, no burning, no fuss. With some other ingredients you have on hand, you can create a dessert that follows the Cerines food philosophy: simple, supremely tasty and elegant enough to make everyday food feel just a little special. You won’t get any grills mark and you’re actually not cooking them, but rather heating them through—just long enough for them to develop some flavor over the still-warm coals.
A relatively new addition to the canon of desserts at Cerines, this discovery comes by way of the Cascata di fragole, an assembled dessert that showcases seasonal berries. Last year during our stay in Italy with family, we substituted strawberries for the local, in-season raspberries and blackberries. Peaches are in season here in Cyprus in August, the perfect fruit for making a variation of this dessert.
Now that it’s summer and hot, we can forget about making Italian merenghe, as the humidity prohibits making them. As they are popular with the boys, any that we have made have long since disappeared. Even in the absence of those, we haven’t forgotten about how easy it is to assemble this dessert now we’re cooking on the grill: in-season peaches have replaced the strawberries and the crema pasticcera replaced with mascarpone cream. The preferred scoop of gelato turns from simple vanilla to the more distinct pink peppercorn (mastic). This sweet and peppery ice cream is absolutely perfect with the fruit, balancing the sweetness of the peaches, all finished with a drizzling of honey.
Cascata di pesca
(Grilled Peaches with Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream + Mascarpone)
Cut in half, along with the pit:
8-9 ripe peaches
Using your myGrill™ Chef SMART™ grill that is already in use, place the peach halves skin-side up on the stainless steel racks to the grill. If you can hold your hand over the coals for 10 seconds with having to remove it, the coals are perfect for grilling the peaches. Slide the racks over the wood coals that still are hottest, checking the temperature to be sure (see below). Cook these while you eat or until the peaches are softened and the flesh has developed some color, about 20-25 minutes. Remove the peaches from the grill to the platter, allowing to cool. Slice into wedges.
In a large bowl, whisk together until creamy:
250 g/9 oz mascarpone
4-6 T milk
Layer in large, straight-edge glasses, one per person, in the following order:
prepared grilled peaches
a scoop of pink peppercorn ice-cream (also known as mastic flavor)
drizzle of best-quality honey
sprig of mint
•layer in a teaspoon of fig marmalade.
Tips for success:
•If the fruit has caramelized too much, simply remove that part as once it has cooled it will be chewy.
Tips for using the myGrill Chef SMART™ Grill:
•As the grill has been heated and the charcoal heat is less intense, use the CONTINUOUS feature to check the temperature of the coals, which should not exceed 120° C.
Learn more about the beauty of cooking with pink peppercorns here.