Sunday, July 22, 2012

ChezCindy: Grilled Peaches with Cream Cheese Honey & Granola

After I published a recent post on homemade granola my sister contacted me asking for additional ideas for how to use it. She was sprinkling the homemade granola on ice cream, which is a great idea. Yum.  What first comes to mind for granola use is yogurt parfaits layered with fresh berries, topped with crispy granola.  But I also offered the idea of grilled peaches topped with cream cheese, honey and granola.

Grilled peaches are easy to prepare and can be eaten as a dessert or for breakfast, if indeed you don't mind early morning grilling.  This might be a fun thing to do on the weekend when you have more time for a fun breakfast.  But definitely after your evening barbecue and the grill is already hot. 

The peaches become softened and the juices release, as they would in a pie.  Adding the creamy cheese and the sweet local honey, lends towards the traditional concept of peaches and cream.  Topping with the crispy granola provides textural contrast.  If you can find or make a granola that has pecans in it, you have another natural pairing of pecans and peaches giving a nod to the state of Georgia. 

Here is how to put it together. 

Grilled Peaches with Cream Cheese, Honey & Granola
Fresh Peaches, Freestone work best
Cream Cheese
Cooking spray oil

Working with your outdoor grill, or an indoor grill can be used as well, set to medium heat level.  

Slice the peaches in half; remove the stone pit.  Lightly spray the cut side with cooking oil, place the cut side down onto the hot grill.  Grill for roughly 5 minutes, until the peach becomes soft to touch, but not mushy, and have light grill lines on the flesh.  Remove from the grill placing onto a serving tray.  While still hot from the grill, top each peach half with a dollop of cream cheese.  Drizzle with honey, sprinkle granola over the peach halves.   Serve warm. 

I use an Italian cream cheese, mascarpone, but any creamy cheese is suitable for this recipe, such as ricotta or Philadelphia cream cheese.  You can even use a flavored cream cheese by mixing in a bit of cinnamon or vanilla.  That would be delicious.

Freestone vs Clingstone Peaches
When purchasing peaches there are two varieties to consider, Freestone and Clingstone.  Both are wonderful.  The difference being as the name suggests, how easily the pit or the stone removes from the center of the peach.  Freestone pits adhere loosely to the flesh of the peach and remove easily.  While the Clingstone pits need to be cut out due to how strongly it clings to the peach.  Flavors are great on both.  I prefer Freestone, but if will buy Clingstone if that is all that are available.  

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