Living in Colorado, it’s hard not to look forward to late summer when peaches arrive from the western slope. Even though I know they’re coming, and they come every year, I am always a little surprised. It’s similar to the geese who find my yard each spring, stop for a layover, and fly on to their summer homes. I find myself wondering where the time has gone. How can it be that the peaches are here again?
In the Colorado towns west of the Rocky Mountains, the cool nights and warm days are ideal for growing peaches, apples, pears, apricots, and grapes (for some surprisingly good wine). To those of us who live near Denver, the fuzzy, golden-orange, drool-inducing globes are, truly, something to celebrate. In a place where water, and, therefore, produce, is a precious commodity, the bounty of our western slope orchards appears each year like a long-awaited downpour during a drought.
The minute I see them in the store (usually with large banners claiming the beauties as locals), I get excited and recipes start jogging through my mind ticker-tape fashion. In general, I believe the flavor of a fruit should speak for itself. However, in the case of peaches, I tend to get carried away with thoughts of enhancing the natural flavor a bit by grilling them with a light glaze. The glaze below is simple and delicious. The bourbon, lemon, and butter balance the sweetness of the maple syrup and brown sugar so that ultimately the peach flavor shines through.
- 6 peaches
- 1/4 cup good bourbon
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- 2 TBSP lemon juice
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1 TBSP brown sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- pre-heat grill and spray with non-stick cooking spray or brush with a high-heat oil
- bring bourbon to a boil in saucepan and let it boil 1 minute to burn off alcohol
- add the remaining ingredients and simmer, whisking occasionally, until sauce is thickened
- let glaze cool and brush on the peaches
- grill peaches 3-5 minutes on each side
- plate peaches and drizzle with remaining glaze
- if desired, top with mascarpone cheese or vanilla ice-cream