July is the time of year when stone fruits of all varieties start showing up in stores in abundance. Fresh peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries -- so many choices!
Usually I'm up to my ears in peaches from our backyard peach tree by now, but sadly, the frigid spring and late frosts left us with maybe a dozen peaches that aren't quite ripe yet, a stark contrast with last summer when my poor tree was nearly torn in half under the weight of its bounty.
Luckily I noticed that my Walmart carries locally grown peaches for a good price. It's not as convenient as plucking a ripe, juicy peach off the tree, but it will do! If you need some tips for choosing the best peaches, find those here.
Now I'm perfectly content to just eat my peaches as is, but there's something magical that happens when you grill them...
Grilled peaches have a slightly smoky flavor to them and the natural sugars caramelize under the high heat for a flavor combination that's out of this world.
Simply cut them in half, remove the pits, and place them over medium heat on your grill until they get soft, about 5-8 minutes. If you give them a quarter turn about halfway through, they're develop that lovely cross-hatch grill mark pattern.
My peaches were pretty ripe, so they only needed to cook for about five minutes. But the great thing about grilling peaches is you can even use those rock hard peaches that you brought home from the store. Just slice the pits out of them and grill! Obviously they'll need to cook a little longer, but they're just as tasty.
After I pull them off the grill, I immediately slice them up into smaller wedges and toss them with brown sugar while they're still hot. A squeeze of fresh lemon and a little pure vanilla extract combine with the juices from the hot grilled peaches and brown sugar to form a decadent syrup that you'll want to drink all on its own.
Serve these yummy grilled peaches as a side dish, or for a special treat, they're fantastic spooned over your favorite vanilla ice cream!
BTW, if you haven't tried the new Sam's Choice premium ice cream from Walmart yet, I highly recommend it. Think decadent premium ice cream at a bargain price... I used the All Natural Vanilla here, but my favorite is the Blackberry Crumble.
You'll also want to try the Sea Salt Caramel, Coffee & Donuts (yes, really!!!), and Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake, among others. Pick up a quart while you're getting your peaches!
Need some more inspiration? Check out these other stone fruit recipes from my fellow Walmart Moms: