I dream of long hot summer days, but here in England they rarely occur. Today for instance, when most folks are roasting through a hot summer day, we are languishing at about 65 F. The sun is flirting with the clouds, hiding first behind one and then another, peeking out rarely, if at all.
On one of the precious few warm days we had in here last week, I found a recipe for Southern Summer Vanilla Roasted Peaches on Maria’s A Platter of Figs blog. Maria says that when she thinks of the south, she thinks of juicy and luscious peaches. As I grew up in Ontario, Canada near to “Fruitland”, as many Canadians call the Niagara Peninsula, summer to me IS peaches.
Ripe, juicy, mouthwatering peaches, the ones my Mom used to buy in big bushel baskets, and lay out to ripen on newspaper covered tables in the basement. My Mom didn’t often bake, but she used to make peach pies that were the stuff of dreams….
Maria’s Roasted Peaches really appealed to me, particularly as they are so easy to prepare, and I knew they would be the perfect fruity dessert for a summer evening. The only change I made to the recipe was to peel the peaches, and use vanilla sugar instead of ordinary sugar. Combined with the vanilla bean Maria’s recipe calls for (you can substitute vanilla extract if you don’t have a vanilla bean to hand), it gave the tender peaches a heady, vanilla-y hit as we bit into them, and the smell of them baking filled the house with the scent of good things.
Vanilla sugar is easy to make. Just put some granulated sugar in a jar, add a vanilla bean and seal, shaking or stirring from time to time. Within a week, you will have vanilla infused sugar. But please, don’t wait that long to make this recipe, if you don’t have vanilla sugar, ordinary sugar is perfectly fine! This is such an easy recipe, and you probably already have the ingredients, even the peaches, to hand. If you don’t, I urge you to go and find peaches somewhere, anywhere just as soon as you possibly can.
I served the peaches warm from the oven, over with good vanilla ice cream, with the syrup ladled over top. Ambrosia, pure and simple. I will be making these again, very, very soon You can find the recipe here, on A Platter of Figs.