These vanilla bourbon peaches are caramelized in butter, vanilla, bourbon, and brown sugar; served with a light, whipped mascarpone and whipped cream topping, and sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts.
This is next level "peaches and cream." I can see why someone thought that would be a dreamy combination, but I have a tendency to seek out crunch in my dessert preferences, and I don't think I'm alone. A satisfying crunch from the hazelnuts gives just enough to pop against the softer, creamier texture. The light tartness of the peaches combined with the sweetness of the vanilla bourbon sauce makes this dessert rich and delicious, but not excessively sweet. It makes the perfect pairing with an after dinner drink or cup of hot coffee.
Ingredients for Vanilla Bourbon Peaches and Mascarpone Whipped Cream
Here are a few tips for picking the ingredients to get the best result for this recipe
- Use peaches that are not overly ripe, but not hard. Peaches should have a little give when pressed, but not get squishy. This will make them easier to work with.
- Unsalted butter should be used instead of salted butter. You'll add sea salt flakes and salted butter would bring too much salt to the dish.
- I used light brown sugar. Too much molasses would overly sweeten the sauce.
- *If you have vanilla bean paste available in place of vanilla extract, use the paste. They're generally interchangeable, but I always prefer the richness of paste over extract (this is a link to my favorite vanilla bean paste).
To prep, preheat your oven to 350. Next, slice around each peach, pushing the knife to the pit and cutting around the circumference of the peach. After you've made the cut, twist the peach halves in opposite directions to separate and remove the pit. For the sauce, first combine the butter and brown sugar and begin to melt. As it melts, add in the sea salt flakes, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Use a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients well, and then pour in the bourbon and vanilla (paste or extract). Begin adding the peaches to the pan skin side up, and use a pastry brush to coat the peaches in the vanilla bourbon sauce. Move the pan to the oven for 20-30 minutes to roast.
While the peaches roast, toast the hazelnuts and prepare the mascarpone whipped cream topping.
How to toast hazelnuts
Place hazelnuts in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow them to cook a few minutes at a time and turn them with a spoon or spatula so they don't burn on one side. Cook until they're fragrant and begin to turn a deep golden color. Remove from the heat when they're ready and set aside to cool.
Mascarpone Whipped Cream
I realize that combining cheese with whipped cream may seem like a strange concept, it did to me initially, but a couple of years ago I had a request for cupcakes with whipped cream frosting. Working with whipped cream frosting is not my favorite thing to do because it doesn't hold any kind of form for any length of time. That is when I began adding a bit of cream cheese (in addition to powdered sugar) to my whipped cream frosting. It was enough cream cheese and sugar to stabilize the whipped cream, but not so much that it overwhelmed with sweetness or cream cheese flavoring.
This topping incorporates the same concept. I wanted a more stable topping that wouldn't slide off and melt immediately when I served it on top of the peaches, so in place of regular cream cheese, I used mascarpone. It produced the same desired effect, with an even lighter flavor. If you don't have mascarpone handy, cream cheese can be used in its place.
Most importantly, make sure that you're starting with cold, heavy whipping cream. Whip the heavy cream in a bowl until stiff peaks are formed and the cream has really thickened. Then whip in the mascarpone. Last, whip the powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste in to combine well.
Serve the peaches warm, spoon extra vanilla bourbon sauce over them, top with a dollop of mascarpone whipped cream, and sprinkle toasted hazelnuts....Probably going to go make myself a bowl of this now that I just wrote this post and now it's all I can think about.
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Vanilla Bourbon Peaches and Mascarpone Whipped Cream
- 3 peaches
- 3½ tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1½ tablespoon bourbon
- ½ cup hazelnuts, chopped
Mascarpone Whipped Cream
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup mascarpone
- 2 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Add butter and brown sugar to cast iron skillet. As butter melts, add vanilla, sea salt flakes, cinnamon, nutmeg and bourbon. Stir until well combined.
- Place peach halves in the cast iron skillet and coat in bourbon glaze. Remove skillet from stove and finish roasting the peaches by transferring to the oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Add hazelnuts to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently so that the hazelnuts don't burn but achieve a light golden color and are fragrant. You'll know when they're ready because the smell is amazing.
- Once ready, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Mascarpone Whipped Cream
- Prepare Mascarpone Whipped Cream while the peaches are roasting and after hazelnuts have been toasted.
- Whip the heavy cream in a mixing bowl using a mixer with a whisk attachment (for fastest results). When stiff peaks have formed, add in the mascarpone and whip until well combined.
- Mix in the vanilla bean paste and powdered sugar.
- Allow peaches to cool just a bit so they are not hot when serving but warm. Spoon some of the vanilla bourbon sauce from the pan over the peaches to serve.
- Top the peaches with whipped mascarpone and sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts. Enjoy!!!
What can be used instead of alcohol?
If you are making it without the bourbon I would suggest just adding in an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste! 🙂