Recipe: Caramel roasted peaches

Recipe: Caramel roasted peaches

Recipe: Caramel roasted peaches Author: Style At Home


Recipe: Caramel roasted peaches

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


To make the creme anglaise

Combine the milk, tarragon, and salt in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring just to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer gently for 30 seconds, then cover and remove the saucepan from the heat. Steep for 5 minutes.

2 Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl to blend, then gradually whisk in the hot milk mixture.

3 Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, and stir constantly over medium-low heat until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

4 Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl set over ice water, and stir until cool.

5 Cover and refrigerate until cold.

To make the compote

1 Combine the peaches, sugar, and lemon juice in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the peaches are tender and the sugar is a rich caramel brown color, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly.

2 Add the sour cream to the cooled peaches. Using an immersion blender, puree the peaches until smooth. Thin the mixture to the desired consistency, if necessary, adding 1/2 teaspoon of water at a time. Cover and refrigerate until cold.

To roast the peaches

1 Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2 Place 4 peach halves pit side down in a shallow glass baking dish and sprinkle with the sugar, water, lemon juice, and salt. Cover and roast until the sugar melts and forms a caramel syrup, about 15 minutes.

3 Remove the dish from the oven and baste the peaches with the caramel, turn the peach halves over and remove the pits, if necessary.

4 Roast until the peaches are tender but still hold their shape, basting occasionally with the caramel syrup, about 15 minutes.

To make the sugared tarragon

1 Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.

2 Lay the tarragon leaves on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle them with enough sugar to coat. Bake for 3 minutes.

3 Turn the leaves over and bake until they are light and crisp, for about 3 minutes. Set aside.

To serve

1 Pour the creme anglaise into 4 shallow bowls.

2 Place the roasted peaches cut side up in the bowls.

3 Spoon some of the remaining caramel sauce from the baking dish into the pit indentations.

4 Spoon small dollops of the peach compote around the peaches.

5 Garnish with the sugared tarragon leaves and serve.

Serves 4 

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Excerpted from MasterChef: The Ultimate Cookbook by The Contestants and Judges of MasterChef. Copyright © 2012. Photography by Tara Donne. Excerpted with permission from Rodale Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.



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Recipe: Caramel roasted peaches