I’m a dog person. Always have been, always will be. I’ve never known a dog person who’s also a cat person, and vice-versa. You are either one or the other. End of story. I’ve always wondered if the same applies to fruit. In particular, peaches and nectarines. Are you either a peach person or a nectarine person? Does the same intense camaraderie and worship exist for each side? I’m a nectarine person. When summer rolls around, nectarines make it into the kitchen often, but their fraternal siblings stay away. Well, because I keep them away. My main issue lies with the silly fur coat they like to wear. I’m not a fan of furry coats on fruit – except for kiwi, since we take theirs off.
But this year – this year I’m feeling adventurous. While strolling through the market, minding my own business, I see gorgeous, gigantic peaches, and though still skeptical, decide to pick one up, and immediately knew it was something special. Firm and only faintly mealy with the sweetest smell of summer. The time had come to give them a second chance. I was excited. And for good reason.
My first bite was crunchy, sweet and bursting with aroma. All the years I had shunned this poor fruit. I couldn’t eat it fast enough. Then fate stepped in. As I was flipping through the new issue of Gourmet, distracted by the chomping of my renewed love, a recipe stopped me in my tracks. The chomping stopped, I quickly skimmed it, already knowing it was meant for me. And for my peaches. With only 4 ingredients and less than 5 minutes of cooking time, this was my type of dessert. The warm peach, barely caramelized at the edges, next to the fluffy, gooey-ness of the meringue is heavenly. The meringue reminds of the inside of a perfectly roasted s’more. Except better. A summer dessert that tastes guiltier than it actually is while showcasing the splendor of the peach. I love surprising myself – I’m a peach person after all (at least this year).
Peaches and Meringue
Tweaked from Gourmet, August 2009
Watch the meringue very, very, very carefully (I can’t emphasize this enough) once it goes in the oven. A few seconds too long and it will become a black, burnt mess. The original recipe called for crushed sesame candy or amaretti, but I usually don’t have either lying around the house, so the graham crackers worked perfectly. Also, please note the egg white in this recipe is not fully cooked.
Music Pairing: Peach, Prince
- 2 large ripe peaches, halved and pitted
- 3 tbsp plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
- 1 large egg white, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp finely chopped graham crackers
Preheat broiler. Put peaches, cut side up, on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon sugar on each half. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until tops begin to brown, 2 to 4 minutes.
Beat egg white with a pinch of salt in a deep bowl using an electric mixer at medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually add remaining 3 tablespoon sugar, beating until white holds stiff, glossy peaks. Fold in graham crackers.
Place a dollop of meringue on each peach half and broil 10-15 seconds. Turn off broiler and leave peaches in oven just until tips of meringue are browned, 20-30 seconds (watch carefully).