I am not usually picky about my food, but since we are in my honest space here, sometimes I get very picky about my peaches.
Before I will even entertain the idea of eating a peach it must meet my stringent “perfect peach” criteria: a) they must be large. Little tiny peaches where I have to eat two in one sitting simply will not do. b) they must be local. Ontario grows some of the best tenderfruit, so why not support local. c) they must be ripe. I can’t tell you how much I hate biting into a peach and thinking… is this an apple? Why is this so hard? I want juice dribbling down my chin. I’m talking eat-it-over-the-sink ripe.
Lucky for me, we had an amazing local peach season this year. Very rarely was my criteria not met… high fives to that! I’ve always been a fan of grilling peaches… I find their sweetness is amplified when grilled, and the juiciness… oh the juiciness! Wanting to complement the sweet, juicy peaches I had on had last week, I whipped up a classic Pavlova with Honey Chantilly Cream. Now I know this might sound intimidating, but I assure you it’s not. In fact, it’s one of the easiest desserts to make (your stand mixer does most of the work). That said, your guests and family will think you’re fancy, so it’s kind-of a win-win!
Grilled Peach Pavlova
This meringue dessert is perfect for any event – casual to fancy. The meringue base is deliciously crisp on the outside and soft & sweet inside. Served with a simple local honey chantilly cream and freshly grilled peaches, this dessert makes for a beautiful, plated work of art.
6 egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
1.5 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
for honey chantilly cream
1 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp liquid honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
for grilled peach topping
2 large, ripe peaches, grilled
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blueberries
mint for garnish
1. In a stand mixer beat egg whites until frothy.
2. Add cream of tartar; continue to beat until whites form soft peaks.
3. Gradually add sugar, pouring in 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and whites hold stiff, glossy peaks. Beat in vanilla.
4. Spoon or pipe meringue onto parchment paper forming little “nests.” Make sure the edge is built up enough to be able to hold a filling.
5. Bake in a preheated 250F (120C) oven until firm, about 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave meringues in oven with the door closed, for one hour. Remove from oven and set aside to let cool completely.
6. In a stand mixer add whipping cream, honey and vanilla. Beat on high until soft peaks start to form in the cream. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
7. Meanwhile, preheat grill (or oven). Remove pits from peaches and slice into quarters. Grill until peaches are tender. Set aside to cool.
8. To assemble, place meringue nest on a plate, spoon in a dollop of chantilly cream, and top with grilled peaches, raspberries and blueberries. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Of course, all this delicious dessert-porn is not for nothing. Today I am being joined by some of my favourite Canadian food bloggers to celebrate (virtually) one of our dear blogging friends, Christina from Strawberries for Supper.
You see, Christina is about to have another bundle of joy next month (a bouncing baby boy), and since Christina and I share the same passion for peaches (did you see her ah-mazing Baked Peaches recipe?), I thought I would “bring” this Grilled Peach Pavlova to the party!
Even though Christina lives 25 minutes away from me, we didn’t actually meet until we attended FBC last year. Since then we have been on many blogger tours and retreats together. She planned us a fabulous tour of St. Jacobs Market and Martin’s Apple Farm last year. We sat in lovely Toronto traffic together when we attended the Mill St. Brewery Tour. And a few weeks ago (with her adorable pregnant belly in tow) we toured the Aberfoyle Antique Market. I am happy to know you Christina, and I wish you all the best as you expand your charming family!
Check out what her other incredible blogger friends are bringing to this party:
Planet Byn // Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Caramel Squares
The Brunette Baker // Apple Custard Pie
Living Lou // Baklava
The Tasty Gardener // Apple Bread Pudding
A Sweet Twist of Blogging // Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars