Growing up, I was allergic to chocolate (and tomatoes). When people find this out, they react in one of two ways. 1. "I wish I was allergic, then I wouldn't eat so much!" or 2. "I would die". In reality, as with other allergies, I simply worked around it. I didn't miss chocolate (or tomatoes) because they weren't a part of my life. I discovered other foods that I liked that I could eat. My mom made carob-chip cookies and my brothers had to trade me all their non-chocolate Halloween candy for all of my chocolate candy.
But I digress. The point is that even today, over 10 years after I outgrew my allergy, I still generally prefer non-chocolate desserts to chocolate ones. I'll eat vanilla ice cream over chocolate almost any day. And I love fruit toppings on my ice cream. Strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, pineapple, cherry--fruit is delicious.
Peaches are in season in Delaware right now. Fun fact, Delaware was the original peach state (suck it Georgia) and the state flower is still the peach blossom. My point being that we get some super amazing peaches here. While you could honestly just slice up a peach and stick on some ice cream (or with some whipped cream or crème fresh), that wouldn't make a very good recipe.
This recipe for ginger brandied peaches is easy and elegant. For a summer dinner party, it would be a great make-ahead dessert. It's something that I would have shied away from just a few years ago thinking that it would be too difficult. It's really, really not. It was one of the easiest desserts I've ever made.
Ginger Brandied Peaches
3lbs of peaches (about 6 peaches)
2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 cups water
3" piece of ginger, peeled
1 1/2 cups brandy
1/4 cup peach preserves (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Place the peaches in the water for 30 seconds and then remove to a baking sheet. Let cool and then peel (the skins will just come right off). Halve and pit the peaches.
In smaller pot, mix the sugar, water, and ginger and bring to a boil. Let boil down until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
Add the peaches until the water comes back to a boil. Let simmer about 2 minutes. Remove the peaches with a slotted spoon to canning jars (or other heat resistant container).
Bring the mixture back to a boil and add the brandy and peach preserves. Boil for another five minutes. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Pour the syrup over the peaches. Seal jars and let come to room temperature. Store in the fridge. Serve over vanilla ice cream.
I love the additional layer of flavor that the ginger adds to this dish! It makes it a little extra refreshing.