My roommate E. recently made an amazing dessert of roasted peaches with honey, fresh ricotta, lemon, and thyme. It was so delicious - the perfect use for the last of those amazing late-summer stone fruits! I was so in love with this dish that I asked her to write up a little guest post for this blog...this way I'll be sure to remember the recipe so I can make it myself in the future! Be sure to visit her blog here. Here's what E. had to say about the recipe:
I used Meyer lemons from our tree, and while I loved the soft, floral
flavor of the lemon peel (and didn't bother about any of the white pith
remaining on my peels, which you should watch out for with conventional
lemons), I'd definitely make sure to use the peel of two larger lemons
next time. Depending on how fresh your vanilla bean is, you may want to
use a whole bean; I did, since the bean I had was ancient. And if you
have artisan honey or flower pepper lying around, be sure to use those!
Roasted Peaches with Thyme and Ricotta (adapted from the Short & Sweet Dessert Deck by Gale Gand)
Serves 4-8 (depending if folks want one or two halves)
1-2 T unsalted butter
1/2 to 1 vanilla bean
About 10 inches fresh lemon peel, in strips
1 sprig fresh thyme
8 black peppercorns
4 large, ripe peaches, halved and pitted
2 T honey
1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Chop up the butter and scatter it over the pan, then put the pan in the oven to melt the butter. Remove the pan from the oven, then split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the insides of the bean into the pan. Strip the thyme leaves from the stalk and sprinkle the thyme leaves, lemon peel, and peppercorns into the pan.
2. Put the peaches cut side down in the pan, and drizzle with honey before laying the vanilla bean husk on top of the peaches. Bake until the peaches are soft to the touch and a little "slumped," about 15-20 minutes. Let cool in the pan.
3. Turn the peaches over and arrange in a serving dish; drizzle the pan juices over the peaches, removing the peppercorns and the lemon peel. Spoon ricotta into the divot of each peach and garnish with more thyme sprigs and serve.