Bitters-Roasted Peaches and Cream
I probably won’t tamper with a rare, perfect, in-season peach. That peach will probably be eaten outside or over the sink. For all other peaches, I love this riff on peaches and cream. Roasting brings out the deep, caramel sweetness of the stone fruit, while a bit of aromatic bitters has enough subtle bite to keep that sweetness in check. A hefty spoonful of softly whipped cream — barely sweetened, and spiked with a little amari — is especially nice when the cream is cold and the peaches are still a little warm. Then again, I also love any chilled leftovers for a hot-weather porch snack the next day.
- 1 pound firm peaches, pitted and halved
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon amari such as Aperol or Campari, divided
- 1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- Poppy seeds (optional), for garnish
Preheat oven to 425F with a rack set in the upper third. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toss cut peaches with oil, 1 tablespoon syrup, 1 tablespoon bitters and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Spread cut side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast on the upper rack until tender and beginning to brown along the edges, 12 to 16 minutes (depending on the size and ripeness of the peaches).
Meanwhile, add cream and remaining syrup, bitters and salt to a blender. Blend on high at 10-second intervals until the cream is whipped into medium-soft peaks. (Test this by dipping a spoon into the whipped cream and holding it upright. The whipped cream will be firm enough to stay on the spoon and hold a glossy peak that barely curls to one side. If you over-whip the cream and it looks grainy, no worries: gently fold cream or milk into the over-whipped batch, 2 tablespoons at a time, until it comes together again.)
Alternatively, whip the cream by hand in a large metal bowl using a whisk or an electric beater.
Serve roasted peaches with the whipped cream. Garnish with optional poppy seeds.
I like Aperol and Campari for their bright, rouge-colored, citrusy bite. Use Aperol if you prefer a more tempered bitterness; use Campari if you don’t.