Anything in Phyllo dough makes our heart rate high, and all plans for dieting go out the window. But Grilled Rum Peaches in Phyllo? Yea… serve it up riiiiiight here. Regular GirlieGirl Army Contributor Chef Jason shares his tips and tricks below (and even low-fat and raw versions!)
This Dessert serves 4.
Time to Prepare: 40 minutes + 1 hour to soak the peaches.
Draw your knife into a peach until you hit the stone. Run your knife through the peach and around the stone to cut the peach in half. Remove the stone (freestone peaches work best for this.) Place the peach halves in a mixing bowl. Toss them in the rum. Allow them to rest for 15 minutes. Add the almond oil and toss the peaches again, allowing this to rest for 45 minutes. While the peaches are resting in the oil and rum, light your grill and allow the flames to die down. Grill the peaches on both sides until they develop small browned parts (this takes about 3-5 minutes per side.) Lay 4 sets of phyllo dough out, each set 2 sheets thick. Lay 2 peach halves at one end of each phyllo set. Sprinkle slivered almonds over the peaches. Fold the phyllo over the peaches and then fold the sides over to create a phyllo pouch. Place these on a baking sheet with the folded edges down. Brush the top with the left over almond oil and rum mix. Bake these on 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Low-fat Version: Omit the oil from the peaches and grill them that way. Instead of brushing the phyllo with the oil and rum mix, spritz it with water.
Raw Version: Omit the rum, but add 1/8 tsp. of cinnamon and cloves to the almond oil. Allow the peaches to soak in the almond oil for a couple hours. You will also want to slice the peaches into wedges instead of halves. Take a tart dish and press a thin date and almond crust into it. Add the peach wedges and then cover with one more date and almond crust. Date and almond crust can be made by mixing a cup of fine almond meal with four or five smashed dates and a pinch of salt.
Presentation: I add a few sprinkles of slivered almonds and a touch of cinnamon to the plate for color, but like to leave this dessert mostly ungarnished so it can speak for itself.
Time Management: This is something that should be served immediately. If you must prepare it ahead of time, plan on baking it again for about ten minutes to re-crisp the phyllo dough.
Complementary Food and Drinks: This dessert gets into the gourmet realm, so plan on serving it after a fancy, grilled dinner; perhaps a risotto with grilled oyster mushrooms and saffron or ravioli stuffed with smoked squash.
Where to Shop: I generally use Captain Morgan’s spiced rum in this recipe. All of the ingredients should be readily available except for the almond oil, which you may need to head to a gourmet store or Whole Foods to purchase. Approximate price per serving is $2.50.
How It Works: Fifteen minutes is about enough time to allow most of the rum to soak into the peaches while the rest of the time is used to infuse them with the flavor of the almond oil. There is another reason this amount of time is used. It allows some of the juice from the peaches to mix with the almond oil and rum that invariably collects at the bottom of the mixing bowl. This creates a fragrant oil which is used to brush the phyllo. Grilling the peaches softens them and also gives them a hint of smokiness, creating a subtle balance of flavors in this dessert.
Chef’s Notes: I still have some almond oil infused with the peach juice and rum left-over and ready to use for something else. The amount of flavor the oil acquired was an incredibly nice surprise.
Recipe via regular GirlieGirl Army Contributor Jason Wyrick, the executive Chef and publisher of The Vegan Culinary Experience, the world’s only vegan culinary magazine. Check out this month’s issue and subscribe for free at www.veganculinaryexperience.com!