Peaches are sweet on their own, of course, but sprinkling their cut sides with a bit of sugar, searing them in a screaming-hot skillet, and then roasting them until tender highlights that flavor. The bacon and herbs in the recipe help these peaches straddle the line between sweet and savory. If you want to make them vegetarian-friendly, omit the bacon and use extra-virgin olive oil instead. Serve the peaches simply with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or a scoop of ice cream for a snack or light dessert.
For more ways
to serve Sugar-Roasted Peaches, see the recipes for:
Mixed Green Salad with Sugar-Roasted Peaches, Crunchy Seeds, and Creamy Goddess Dressing
Pork Chops with Sugar-Roasted Peaches, Fennel, and Cheddar Grits
Sugar-Roasted Peach and Cornbread Sundaes with Bacon Syrup
Sugar-Roasted Peaches with Burrata and Honey
Yields 8 peach halves
2 slices thick-cut bacon
4 ripe semi-firm medium peaches (about 8 oz. each), halved and pitted
2 tsp. raw sugar, such as demerara or turbinado
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large sprigs fresh summer or winter savory, thyme, or rosemary
Tip: Look for ripe but semi-firm peaches for this recipe—if they’re too soft, they’ll lose their shape when you pit them.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.
Cook the bacon in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, flipping occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Pour the bacon fat from the skillet into a small heatproof bowl, leaving a slick of fat in the skillet; you’ll need 4 tsp. reserved fat. (If you don’t have enough, make up the difference with extra-virgin olive oil.) Raise the heat under the skillet to medium high.
Sprinkle the cut sides of the peaches evenly with the sugar and a tiny pinch each of salt and pepper. Arrange the peaches in the skillet cut side down and tuck the herbs around them. Tear the bacon slices in quarters and tuck the pieces around the peaches. Drizzle 2 tsp. of the reserved bacon fat evenly over the peaches and let them cook undisturbed until the cut sides begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the uncut sides of the peaches with a tiny pinch of salt, then transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the peaches are just tender, about 10 minutes.
Flip the peaches, drizzle with 2 tsp. more of the reserved bacon fat, and continue to roast until they’re tender but not falling apart, about 5 minutes more. Enjoy the bacon as a cook’s treat, or save it for another use; discard the herbs. Let the peaches cool slightly before serving.
Make Ahead Tips
You can make the peaches up to 2 days ahead and refrigerate them in an airtight container. To reheat, arrange the peaches on a microwave-safe dish, cover loosely with a paper towel, and heat on high for about 1 minute.
nutrition information (per serving):
photo: Colin Clark
From Fine Cooking 118
, pp. 78-79
July 5, 2012