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Grilled Peaches, Poached Cherries and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Grilled Peaches Poached Cherries & Fresh Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

B. jokes that every four years, he loses me to the World Cup. I smile and add "and the rugby Six Nations Championship, the Tour de France and the Formula One races throughout the year. Let’s not forget the 24 hours of Le Mans". That’s the environment I was raised in. I grew up with Platini, Maradona, Sella, Camberabero, Prost, Schumacher, Fittipaldi, Bernard Hinault, Laurent Fignon. All year long. All these years.

And yet no one in my family actually played a sport past 16 years old! That is unless you consider four or five- hour long dinners a sport, which my husband happens to do, especially after many a Sunday dinners shared back home. Competitive longest meals followed by competitive moonshine. My uncle Jacques is still reigning supreme in the "moonshine so strong it will bleach your coffee cup" department.

Poached Cherries & Grilled Peaches

I have mentioned Sundays in passing with my grandmother’s apricot tart but they were much more than that. They usually started with a trip to the market behind our house where my grandmother would get tiny grey shrimp and peppery radishes. Getting flowers, setting up the table, cutting saucisson for the aperitif. Waiting for everyone to finally start lunch around 12.30pm and linger all afternoon in between the TV room and the dessert plates. Coffee, petits fours, chocolates. Heaven.

Desserts were most often kept very simple with a big bowl of fruit salad. Some cookies. Some ice cream. Came summer, the table was graced with an abundance of deep dark cherries and juicy peaches. Two of my favorite summer fruits.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Peaches, Cherries

Perfect French Word A Week opportunity if you ask me. And that’s two words to boot.
If you ever travel to the South of France, they will quickly become crucial to know as they are everywhere in those parts. Perfectly kissed by the Provencal sun.
Click on the words Peche (click on word for the pronunciation).

When sports start to tie up the little bit of free time I have, especially in the summer time, I’d better have something quick and easy ready for us, whether we dine alone or get together with friends. I have a strong affinity for ice cream paired with fresh fruits when warmer and sunnier days roll around and things happen a lot more in a impromptu manner.

Cherries - Cut Peaches

If they are perfectly juicy, ripe and a bit tangy, then I am in heaven. Sometimes, dessert needs to remain this easy. Sometimes, it needs a little pimping out and it gets even better. Over the years, I have become completely addicted to grilling stone fruits and serving them with fresh yogurt, fresh cheese or ice cream. The combo is just brilliant. When it comes to cherries, B. is not a big fan unless I poach them with honey until soft and tender.

Such a simple combination and so easy to put together with friends around the barbecue one summer evening. Homemade vanilla bean ice cream, grilled peaches and warm juicy poached cherries. Next time I think I’ll pair lavender ice cream and grilled apricot. Non?

When I combined the two the other day, it got me a two-day free pass to not have to walk the dogs during a World Cup game. I took it. Right now, it’s better than a free laundry pass to me, eheheh!

Grilled Peaches Poached Cherries & Fresh Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

So…what is your secret culinary weapon to earn yourself some "house points"?

Before I forget: Thank you Mom for the pretty plates from Asya at for my birthday! They arrived still warm from the kiln. Kidding. Just about.

Grilled Peaches, Poached Cherries and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:

Serves 6-8

Notes: once the ice cream is set, everything else comes together in less than 20-30 minutes. You can also start with the cherries and let them cool while you prepare the peaches.

For the ice cream:
4 egg yolks
1 cup (100gr) + 2 tablespoons (25gr) sugar
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split open and seeded

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and one cup of sugar until pale and thick. In a saucepan set over medium heat, bring the milk, cream and vanilla bean to a simmer, without letting it come to a full boil. Slowly pour the hot cream over the egg yolks mixture while whisking to temper the egg yolks. Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the cream coats the back of spoon. It should register 170F on a candy thermometer. At this point you have made a custard sauce, also known as "creme anglaise". Let cool completely, strain and refrigerate until cold.
Once the custard is cold, process it according to your ice cream maker manufacturer’s instructions and freeze for 2 hours or more.

For the fruits:
4 peaches (preferably not completely ripe so they don’t disintegrate)
1 to 1/2 cups cherries
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup orange juice

Prepare the peaches:
Wash them thoroughly but do not peel them. Cut them in half and remove the pit. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grill grate. Place the peaches cut side down on the prepared grate, and grill for about 5 minute. Remove and set aside.

Prepare the cherries:
Wash them thoroughly, cut them in half and remove the pits with the tip of a sharp knife. Place them in a large saucepan with the honey and orange juice over medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes until soft. Remove from the heat and let cool a bit. Too warm and it will melt the ice cream way too fast.

To assemble, simply layer the ice cream and the fruits in bowls, cups and ramekins.

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El June 12, 2010 um 10:50 pm

Lovely Helen. And delicious too!

Maria June 12, 2010 um 10:58 pm

Perfect summer treat. I love cherry season. We haven't caught much of the World Cup, but hope to catch some games this weekend.

Indirect Heat June 12, 2010 um 11:05 pm

Wow, inspiration! I'll be making this for dessert soon.

Amy June 12, 2010 um 11:14 pm

No doubt this would get me some house points real quick! Can't wait to try the cherries with honey instead of sugar.

[email protected] June 12, 2010 um 11:14 pm

"Perfectly kissed by the Provencal sun." I could use some of the french sun right about now! If I just grilled up this fruit and served it up with some vanilla Haagen Daz I would get bonus points over here. The lavender and apricot sounds wonderful too . xxoo

[email protected] June 12, 2010 um 11:14 pm

"Perfectly kissed by the Provencal sun." I could use some of the french sun right about now! If I just grilled up this fruit and served it up with some vanilla Haagen Daz I would get bonus points over here. The lavender and apricot sounds wonderful too . xxoo

hopeless foodie June 12, 2010 um 11:22 pm

Perfect summer dessert!

Neel | Learn Food Photography June 12, 2010 um 11:28 pm

This is just so cool and awesome. Love the first photo … and the cherry photo on the dark surface works wonderfully.

Thank you for sharing this with us…. Your photos have a lot of awesomeness in them…

zebulon June 13, 2010 um 12:13 am

Funny, I don't really care about football (is it weird for a French guy?) but my Italian girlfriend does, so I end up following some games here and there so we can talk about it and tease each other 😀

I love summer fruits (nothing like a fruit salad on a hot day), and today's recipe really makes them shine. A favorite of this summer for sure! And any summer, for that matters.

Kris Mulkey June 13, 2010 um 12:24 am

So simple, yet so delicious. Now if I could only keep the hands off the cherries so I could make dessert!!

PS. We bought an OXO cherry pitter last year. LOVE it. You should try one. : )

Abby June 13, 2010 um 12:59 am

Bought my second quart of cherries today! I'm going to try to perhaps bake something with these, instead of eating them straight out of hand like the last quart. Thanks for the amazing photos and inspiration! Have fun with the World Cup!

Jessica @ How Sweet June 13, 2010 um 1:37 am

Could there be a better combination? Delicious.

Helene June 13, 2010 um 3:37 am

Kris: I have one too. I don't use it. I like to cut the cherries in half for 90% of the desserts I make with them and when I don't, I use a metal skewer or straw to push the pit through.

Megan Gordon June 13, 2010 um 7:09 am

So beautiful! We have a big bowl of cherries in the fridge that I've been meaning to do something with for days…this may just be the ticket.

bunkycooks June 13, 2010 um 12:52 pm

This truly is a perfect summer dessert. I love this time of year! Desserts definitely give me a pass or just a nice dinner at home. My hubs would much prefer to eat in these days. Beautiful photos.

Maaya June 13, 2010 um 2:36 pm

great combination of tastes i love this thanks!

Dana June 13, 2010 um 2:52 pm

Peaches on the grill are just so good. I've been experimenting with them a lot this season, on skewers, on pizza. This simple preparation looks lovely!

Callie Grayson June 13, 2010 um 3:30 pm

This post is making my mouth water!

Helen June 13, 2010 um 4:10 pm

This is a perfect and simple summery dessert. Sometimes the simple things are the best. It is perfect for throwing together when you have guests too. I love grilled fruits with ice cream – so delicious.

Sab June 13, 2010 um 4:42 pm

Hum! Moi qui ai des envies de glace en ce moment (et de soleil aussi)!!

The Design Dish June 13, 2010 um 5:36 pm

these look amazing, and I am sure they taste so too!
Love the grilled peaches, mmmmm!
The Design Dish

Sam June 13, 2010 um 8:41 pm

it all just looks so gorgeous.

Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle June 13, 2010 um 8:58 pm

If summer actually decided to come to Colorado this year, these would be a perfect outdoor barbecue dessert…I love, love, love grilled peaches. I've done something similar with grilled peaches and raspberries and grilled poundcake. So yummy.

But since today is 50 maybe and heat is on…think I'll save this for winter when I'm assuming summer will finally be here…brrr!!

Engineer Baker June 13, 2010 um 9:18 pm

Sounds like a perfect way to celebrate summer, the world cup, and gain house points 🙂 Mine generally involves chocolate cake – the fiance's a sucker for simple chocolate cake.

Amanda Stuckey June 13, 2010 um 11:43 pm

Looks delicious. And so pretty!

Fresh Local and Best June 14, 2010 um 12:40 am

I have yet to grill fruit, but after reading this post, I'm going to try it. I was in the Provence earlier this year, and a very kind local was telling me of the sweet plump cerises grown in the region. Someday I'm going to return just for the summer fruits.

Georgia Pellegrini June 14, 2010 um 1:58 am

When the fruit is fresh, the simpler the better. This looks absolutely delicious.

~ Chef Louise June 14, 2010 um 3:07 am

Lovely, just lovely… What a perfect way to show off the fruit.

LoveandConfections June 14, 2010 um 6:56 am

Absolutely stunning. Any kind of tart and especially homemade ice cream gets me "house points".

Elisabeth June 14, 2010 um 4:01 pm


I know what you mean about the World Cup. Every other year my interest in sports rests only on by boys playing fútbol (soccer). I am completely ignorant about American football, basketball and baseball. I can't even understand the rules! However, having been born and raised in Argentina, every World Cup I turn into an avid sports fan nervously watching games and yelling into the television. My family thinks this is hilarious!

Thank you for your beautiful food and photos. My 18 year-old daughter and I always seek inspiration from your website and it has fueled my daughter's interest so that she has started baking madeleines, cakes and tarts for a local farmer's market!

Thank you for your creative and lovely ideas!


Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking June 14, 2010 um 4:32 pm

There is no fruit that doesn't go well with vanilla ice cream, I think. I love this combination, though. Very creative – and pleasing to the eye!

Cookin' Canuck June 14, 2010 um 5:20 pm

We are glued to the TV for the World Cup right now and watch the Tour de France every morning in July (we go through withdrawals when it's over). Your family Sundays sound like the ideal day to me – relaxing, eating, watching sports, and spending time with family and friends. This pretty dessert would fit very nicely into that plan.

Patricia Scarpin June 14, 2010 um 5:22 pm

Helen, I love each and every flavor you put together here – wonderful!
Oh, I'm just sad you did not add any Brazilian athlete to that wonderful list of yours. 😉

The Teacher Cooks June 14, 2010 um 7:25 pm

Peaches and ice cream are a perfect combination. I grew up with the two. Now add the cherries and that is even better!

angela@spinachtiger June 14, 2010 um 7:28 pm

For me, this is a perfect dessert. I like my food as whole as possible. Vanilla ice cream may be my favorite food of all, certainly my fav dessert. Simple and whole is always so beautiful.

Sweet Pea Chef June 14, 2010 um 8:45 pm

Wow. Lovely photos and the dessert looks amazing.

delicieux June 14, 2010 um 11:42 pm

I love grilled peaches and cherries and so beautiful. This seems like a beautiful explosive flavour combination but at the same time so simple. Perfect!

Naked Girl in a Dress June 15, 2010 um 12:50 am

What a perfect summer dessert! I have an appetizer recipe that involves grilling peaches and I love how they taste grilled. I can't wait to try this recipe.

Tara Barker June 15, 2010 um 2:12 am

Absolutely beautiful! I'm quite addicted to stone fruits these days, but haven't gotten around to doing much more to them than a quick wash before eating! But I do love a good grilled peach . . .

veron June 15, 2010 um 3:05 am

It's so hot and humid here in Richmond, what I would give for such a gorgeous spread. Beautiful composition as always!

baby crib June 15, 2010 um 6:56 am

This is perfect for summer! I like this so much! I can't wait to try this.

La cuisine des 3 soeurs June 15, 2010 um 7:12 am

Les pêches grillées me plaisent beaucoup comme accompagnement.

colorchic June 15, 2010 um 1:46 pm

I just love the colors of summer fruits… YUM!

Cynthia June 15, 2010 um 3:22 pm

I do not have a sweet tooth but you have a way of unlocking that part of me with your creations. I would love to eat this.

Unknown June 16, 2010 um 2:42 am

Although we are approaching winter here in the tropics this looks incredibly appealing. Can't wait for the summer fruits to appear again!

haircutting in high heels June 16, 2010 um 6:25 pm

beautiful website, I love it found you through "From Me to You," so glad I did!

Gen June 16, 2010 um 8:03 pm

So fresh and juicy!

{Sweet and Salty} June 16, 2010 um 8:53 pm

I just began following your blog within the last few months and it is just lovely. I thoroughly enjoy hearing about your many beautiful, French culinary tips. Your photography is also stunning. I am hoping to enter into the world of food styling, writing and photography. Reading your blog is quite inspiring. Thank you <3

fresh365 June 16, 2010 um 8:58 pm

Is there anything better than grilled fruit?

Rachael Hutchings June 17, 2010 um 3:35 pm

Mmmmm, I think I can taste summer just by looking at this gorgeous dessert! My secret culinary weapon guarantee to earn me some "house points" is making my husband's all-time favorite creamy spinach and tomato tortellini. VERY EFFECTIVE. 🙂

Sara June 30, 2010 um 2:36 pm

I just happened upon your blog from comments from Elana's Pantry. Your pictures are stunning and really give me inspiration for something to strive for with my food photography (definitely a beginner in this area). I'm excited to now be following another beautiful blog.

Josh July 2, 2010 um 3:03 pm

Beautiful shots! I'm salivating just looking at them. And the contest items look pretty awesome, too 🙂

sylvia July 13, 2010 um 1:44 am

VoondaBar! i cannt wait to try this! yum!

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