Sometimes you have failures in the kitchen. You come up with a recipe idea, execute it, and it just doesn’t come out right. Back to square one. It can be a real bummer.
Other times, you have recipe failures and out of them comes something brilliant! That’s what happened here. I really wanted to make peach crème brûlée. I had a bunch of peach skins I saved from making a recipe with peeled peaches. I thought I could steep the peach skins in the cream and that would impart a light peachy flavor into the crème brûlée. I was so excited. My husband and son were so excited. We couldn’t wait to crack into that sugared top and dig into the creamy peach custard! But it didn’t work. You couldn’t taste any peach at all. Major bummer.
Then an idea struck me. Why not just brûlée the peaches themselves and serve them with ice cream? Yes, so much yes!
I did a couple test runs and found that after cutting the peaches in half and patting them dry you need to stick them in the freezer for about 20 minutes, otherwise the juices leach out and you can’t get a good brûlée on top – the sugar won’t harden. I also tested it with plain white sugar and brown sugar. The white sugar was too fine and soaked into the peach too quickly; the brown sugar worked great and gives it an extra caramelly flavor!
I also tried it with a slightly under-ripe peach and a ripe peach. They all worked fine, but the difference was in how you end up eating it. The under-ripe peach didn’t cut easily with a spoon, but you could pick it up like an apple and eat it (which was awesome with the crisp sugary top!). The ripe peach is what I was really going for though- it was soft enough that you could easily cut into it with a spoon and eat it right out of the pan, no cooking needed to soften it. This mimicked more of the crème brûlée experience, especially when served with ice cream. For a vegan version, try serving it with a coconut ice cream or coconut whipped cream!
To brûlée the peaches, which means to burn or burnt in French, I used a regular hand-held blow torch from a hardware store – not a fancy food torch – because that’s just what we had in our garage. I’ve never brûléed using the oven broiler method, but I’m sure that would work just as well. Don’t be afraid, let your inner pyro out!
Top with brown sugar and brûlée with a torch or use the broiler.
It’s like peach candy!
I adore the sound of cracking into a brûlée!
The perfect treat for two. Sit close to each other and share.
So easy and so gone. I’ll be making this again pronto!
This recipe has been submitted to the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck.
ice cream for serving
Cut peaches in half and remove pit. Using a paper towel or clean dish towel, pat the cut side dry. Place peaches on a plate and put in the freezer for 20 – 25 minutes. Remove peaches from freezer and place them cut-side up on a small baking sheet or in a cast iron skillet. Sprinkle brown sugar (about 2 teaspoons) on each peach half and brûlée the sugar using a torch or the oven broiler. Serve with ice cream. Enjoy!