Food & Entertaining - Recipes

Caramel roasted peaches

Becky Reams
Tara Donne

We know you're going to love this sweet take on peaches. They're toasted with caramel and served with tarragon creme anglaise and sour cream-peach compote.

Peaches weren't quite in season when contestant Becky Reams opened the Mystery Box on the cooking show MasterChef. The box also contained a steak, sour cream, fresh tarragon, watermelon, corn, and cabbage. Every other contestant used the steak in their box, but Becky was inspired by the fruit. She was the only contestant who made a dessert out of that particular Mystery Box and the only contestant who didn't use the steak. Instead, she solved the problem of not-quite-perfect fruit by roasting it, which made it juicy and sweet and caramelized the exterior sugars. She nestled the peaches in a pool of tarragon-infused creme anglaise and topped them with the caramelized peach juices from the pan. Then she brightened the plate and sharpened the flavors with a few dots of a tangy sour cream and peach compote. For plating during the competition, Becky only used a few dots of the colorful compote, but it's so delicious, you'll want to spoon it on with a more generous hand. Sugared tarragon leaves are delicious and beautiful, but you can easily skip them and you'll still enjoy this dessert immensely.
For the creme anglaise
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
For the sour cream-peach compote
  • 2 firm but ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
For the roasted peaches
  • 2 firm but ripe peaches, halved
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
For the sugared tarragon
  • 10 to 15 fresh tarragon leaves
  • About 2 tablespoons sugar

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