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Show dad you think he’s peachy keen

This weekend we celebrate all the great fathers and father figures in our lives. One way to let them know how much we appreciate them is to make a fabulous dessert that’s just peachy. Or nectarine-y. Your choice.

What’s more delicious than a succulent, juicy, perfectly ripe peach? Nothing. But for my purpose, let’s say a tangy and sweet, caramelized, slightly smoky, grilled peach served with a scoop of velvety vanilla ice cream and a spiced crunchy crumble sprinkled on top. It’s amazing what a little heat can do to elevate a humble peach to a stunning dessert. Simply divine.

Many families have a standing tradition of throwing a barbecue to honor dear old dad. So, a dessert made right on the grill seems perfect. If that’s not your style, or you prefer not to grill in hot weather, this recipe can also be made in the oven. Just bake the peaches at 375 F degrees until they’re softened and follow the recipe as written.

How to pick a perfect peach

When choosing a peach or nectarine, the nose knows. The aroma when they’re ripe is unmistakable. At their peak you can smell them before you see them. Also, look for ones that have a golden yellow base color with no green. The burnt orange blush is simply the color that comes from direct sun exposure. If you give the peach a gentle squeeze, it should have just a little bit of give as fruit that’s very soft and ripe doesn’t grill as nicely as firmer fruit. But be careful as peaches bruise easily.

Also, choose freestone peaches for easy pit removal. I had some trouble getting the pits out of nectarines and ended up using a paring knife to carefully cut them out.

As you enjoy the sweet finale to your Father’s Day celebration, when all the peaches are all gone, dad can say “You’ve left me s-peach-less.” Sorry. Happy Father’s Day from all of us at Divas on a Dime.

BROWN SUGAR CINNAMON GRILLED PEACHES

What you’ll need:

2 tablespoons butter, melted

¼ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch salt

6 to 8 peaches or nectarines

4 teaspoons oil, * see note below

Vanilla ice cream, for serving, optional

Here’s how:

If you’re serving the crumble (below), make that first and set aside.

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat (about 375 F to 400 F degrees). Clean and generously oil the grill.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and stir to combine. Set aside.

Next, prepare the peaches. Halve the peaches and remove the pits. Brush the cut sides and the skins with oil. Peeling isn’t necessary because the skin will loosen during cooking, but if you want to peel them, knock yourself out.

Place peaches, cut sides down, on the grill. Cook peaches undisturbed until grill marks appear, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the peaches over and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes more. Fill the well of each peach with a spoonful of the brown sugar and butter mixture. Remove to a platter when done.

*Note: The oil helps stop the peaches from sticking to the grill. A neutral flavored oil is preferred. Use grapeseed or canola for no flavor or olive oil or coconut oil for a hint of flavor. Coconut is my personal favorite.

GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE

What you’ll need:

3 sheets of graham crackers, cinnamon grahams are great

¼ cup brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch salt

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line an 8-by-8 inch pan with parchment or use cooking spray. Place graham crackers in a zip-top bag and crush into large crumbs with a rolling pin (or your stressed-out hands in need of a constructive outlet). You can finish this in either a bowl or right in the bag.

Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, vanilla and melted butter. Stir or smush to combine.

Place mixture into prepared pan, spreading into an even layer. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.

Smell that? It’s all about this crumble.

To serve, top each grilled peach half with a scoop of ice cream and sprinkle crumble on top.

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is a recipe developer and food writer of the website “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com.

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