Peachy Keen

Sometimes I spend an inordinate amount of time in the Whole Foods market,  particularly their produce section. And because I do, I am frequently rewarded with a gem of a discovery. I usually only go in for one or two little things (no, really I do) and end up spending an hour or more. The other day I actually found some fresh peaches; it's way too early to find them and no doubt I paid through the nose for them, but I've been dying for peaches so I could try a simple yet heavenly dessert I saw in Sophie Dahl's cookbook. I've been drooling over it since I saw the photo. And it was well worth the buy! How many times have you taken a mouthful of something and rolled your eyes and actually said out loud: OMG? This is one of those times. Trust me: make the first batch for yourself and don't tell anyone. Do you know how Nigella sneaks to her fridge for a late night snack? That's what you're going to do with these peaches.

As I recall, the peaches were from Chile and at this time of year they would be classified as early-season peaches; in the U.S. our early season peaches are picked in June and July. And why is this important? Because early peaches cling to their pits tenaciously. Which is not a good thing for this particular dessert. The cut-and-twist method, which works well with late-season (August) peaches, is the easiest way to pit a peach. But that trick doesn't work with early peaches. You'll end up with a handful of peach pulp, juice running down your arm and the pit will stay right where it is, stubbornly stuck to the other half, with yet more pulp hanging off. I know. I tried.

I really wanted my halves to look reasonably neat, so in the end I took a sharp paring knife and cut the peach from top to bottom and then worked the knife carefully around the pit. This was NOT an easy job, but I ended up not mangling them too badly. This dish will look much prettier in August, but I wanted, no needed, to make this dessert right now! I know you've all had the identical feeling when you've seen a photo of a mouth-watering new recipe. Anyway, Sophie leaves the skin on and I did too. My guess is without the skin they'd turn to mush, but it's your decision.

I wasn't kidding about how simple this recipe is. Healthy too. Perfect summer dessert. Perfect for company. The only catch about making it this time of year is the pit problem. But don't let that stop you if you happen to see some. They get all caramelized and gooey.  And the yogurt topping? Divine. I promise not to rave on about this cookbook again, but it really is a lovely one.

Cinnamon Roast Peaches with Vanilla Yogurt

From Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights by Sophie Dahl

4 peaches, ripe but firm
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter or sunflower oil
2 cups Greek yogurt (you can use lo-fat if you want)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey
fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 450°. Wash and halve the peaches, removing the pit. Place them in a small roasting pan. Sprinkle each half with cinnamon and brown sugar and dot with butter or oil.

Roast for 10 minutes (It took me 15 minutes and then I stuck them under a broiler for a bit to get them as brown as Sophie's were. All ovens are different. But this is pretty much what hers looked like, as well as her pan.)

While the peaches are roasting, stir the agave or honey and vanilla extract into the yogurt and set aside.

Serve the peaches warm or room temperature with a spoonful of the yogurt mixture and add some mint if you want to be fancy for company.

Serves 4, or  2 if you're really into these as much as I was.


  1. okay ... i've come to realize that rule no. 1 for your blog is NOT to read it whilst hungry! totally craving this now ... and since i don't have any peaches, i think i'll caramelize a nice granny apple with some butter and brown sugar (and a bit of cinnamon) and introduce them to a bowl of vanilla ice cream. you're too much, Barbara! ;)

  2. Please, rave away! This cookbook seems to deserve your endless praise. I love baked peaches...they caramelize and become so sweet. Which is perfect with this yogurt-based sauce. Ugh I can't wait until June!

  3. Yum-a-licious! I made something similar to this on my blog a while back but I grilled the peaches! yum

  4. These look delicious! I love peaches and I am sure roasting them makes them even more delicious.

  5. Barbara, you made it sounds and looks so good! How can I resist! Yumm... Btw, the Whole Foods market is the best place to explore for inspiration!
    Have a great weekend!
    Regards, Kristy

  6. Gorgeous peach dessert. I love the presentaion. Whole foods is a great place to get lost in culinary thought. Cheers!

  7. what a great dessert, I love the simplicity of it --but wow it looks divine, I must check out that cookbook..


  8. This sounds simply amazing!

  9. Oh now the search is on for peaches. Barbara, this looks sooo yum, I can hardly wait to try it. I don't care if the peaches are $5 a pound! So worth it.
    I love your Derby Day post and recipe too. I have to make those browns...

  10. se ven deliciosos y fáciles de preparar.
    Un abrazo
    la brujita

  11. These look fantastic! I know a recipe is REALLY good if I make out loud "yummy noises". This looks super good, I'll for sure try these, thanks!

  12. This looks like one of those things that I would absolutely adore. I've got to try this. Isn't it amazing how greek yogurt is amazing with everything fruit fruit to meat? I buy tons of the stuff.
    Alright, Im staring at that picture and am officially starving.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
    *kisses* HH
    p.s. Mr. P did really like the mac and cheese at Bob Bob Ricard, but i think there were other things he'd rather eat :)

  13. Your peaches look great!
    What a great recipe, if only there were still peaches in the stores here....I'll have to wait until next summer.

  14. Dr Lostpast thinks WholeFoods is an addiction and chides me mercilessly about it. I say you can go to 4 stores and get what you need and pay too much or just go to WF! Also, my favorite WF is right next to Union Square Farmer's Market and I go there early Saturday morning and visit all my favorite farmers.
    I find so many cool things at WF (fresh chickpeas, who knew?).
    I do sometimes check for prices on things but mostly I prefer not to know! Haven't seen those peaches but lady, if you are this over the top for them... next Sat I'm going for peaches! I love grilled peaches (my friends do them with a balsamic puddle in the middle that is divine) now this!!! I am definitely in a peachy mood after all the peach liqueur I went through this week!

  15. This looks so delicious! I know exactly what you mean about trying the cut and twist method with early-season peaches...I've had that trail of juice run down my arm too many times!!

  16. i never knew or realized that early peaches behaved like that! good to know. clearly, this is a dessert that you were right to make immediately, regardless of those pesky pits. it sounds amazing--definitely worth some sticky elbows!

  17. Looks/sounds Great and so simple. I will be making these soon they sound great for company.

  18. OH WOW! I love peaches. I love syrup and cream and brown sugar. These would be divine. Thanks!

  19. Yum! easy and tasty.

  20. Barbara, count me in as a peach lover too. I'm from the south and there's nothing better than eating a fresh peach with the juice running down your chin. I would have paid through the nose for these too.

  21. I do that same thing in Whole Foods, and the produce department is so pretty to look at too! I found some lovely champagne mangos...just perfect.

    Your peaches look divine! Love it with the yogurt! I made one similar for our Martha Mondays challenge...(suppose to be grilled). Thanks for sharing this one! Yum!

  22. hell, very good...

  23. JG: Probably would work with apples too...I always loved baked apples!

    Joanne: Sophie seems to do a lot with flavors in yogurt and they're all delicious.

    Leslie: I love grilled peaches too and you could still use the sauce.

    Julie: I think roasting always brings out great flavor, don't you?

    Kristy and Lazaro: You are so right! Inspiration in every aisle!

    Sweetlife: One lovely recipe after another, all fairly health-conscious, without being obnoxious about it.

    Deborah: It is!

    June: I actually won money on the Derby this year. Makes up for last year!

    Edith: Absolutely! Delicious and very simple. Big hug back!

    Debbie: Doesn't happen often, but it did with my banana pudding and now with this.

    HH: Isn't it amazing? Some of the simplest desserts are the best!

    Camilla: Can you get nectarines? Works with that too, but you'll still have the same pit problem.

    Deana: Going to comment on your blog again for a reply.

    Lucie: Messy and sticky...just like eating them in the car!

    Grace: I cannot begin to describe how delicious they are!

    Bryan: Or when you're in a hurry and need a quick dessert.

    Elizabeth and Jared: They ARE divine!

    Anita: Yes!

    Sam: My daughter and I were driving through Georgia once and got some at a roadside stand. We ate the entire box and practically needed to hose down the car!

    Lyndsey: Whole Foods is definitely an addiction!

  24. I love it when I learn something! I never knew WHY some peaches cling to the pit and others separate so easily! Now I do!

    And in August? I'm so making this.

  25. this is decadence in a bowl that is ironically good for you - lust-o-rama for the sweet sticky peaches...

  26. mmmm...I would love this right now! (minus the cinnamon) I will see if I can spot the same peaches at my local Wholefoods here.

  27. I love hot fruit desserts like this - so simple! It looks wonderful.

  28. Those look peachy keen...thanks for the recipe.

  29. Miss Cook: Yes, it is!

    TKW: Loved your dad's post!

    DoggyBloggy: Not often do you find a fabulous dessert with practically no calories!

    Joumana: Don't you like cinnamon?

    Foodycat: I do too. I have another with mixed dried fruits, which takes longer AND is extremely caloric, but same idea.

  30. I'm not a taxi driver from Sorrento, but I still claim this recipe as a family recipe of mine:)!

  31. These peaches look divine! I'm dying for fresh summer produce...peaches are a real favorite (and also cherries)! I can't wait to make this recipe once I get my hands on some fresh peaches!

  32. That sure sounds good right now! Peaches are kind of a "forgotten" fruit with me- and I really enjoy them!

  33. I can totally relate to the Whole Foods experience! What a great find. I haven't had a good peach since last year and what a delightful use for them. I'll have to see if I can find that cookbook!

  34. Absolutely love peaches - And fresh peaches that have been roasted or grilled are the best - there simply is nothing better . . . except maybe a dollop or yogurt or ice cream!

  35. What a gorgeous dessert Barbara! Sometimes it's so inspiring to spend time shopping for food isn't it? Like you, I'm impatient to get hold of seasonal things I love, even if you pay too much. Thanks so much for the recipe and don't worry, I've no intention of sharing. Hmm, I need to get my own copy of this book too.

  36. I'm with you, Barbara, I could spend hours at Whole Foods! Those peaches look delicious! Great recipe, have to try this!

  37. What a delicious summer dessert!!!Simple and tasty!

  38. Oh wow. This looks amazing.

    You won the Ticings Giveaway! Yay! Can you please email me at spotty_zebra@hotmail.com with your mailing info? THanks!

  39. They look very tasty and sound healthy too Barbara. No wonder you couldn't wait. I'd have done exactly the same thing :) In fact, I've hurt fingernails before, trying to prise stubborn pits out!

  40. Hi Barbara,

    This summer dessert sounds wonderful and the combination of the cinnamon and the yoghurt will be yummy.
    I love to take my time, occasionally when grocery shopping.

    Have a lovely week

    The word verification is blesse.

  41. Francesca: Agreed.

    Faith: I like peaches the old fashioned way too, just with cream.

    BD: Won't be too much longer before you see them in Michigan.

    Susan: Got my copy used at Amazon.

    Lisa: I'm not going to give you an argument. I love them grilled too.

    Vanessa: I didn't make nearly enough!

    Dishes Done: It's an addiction!

    Erica: I thought so too!

    Dionne: I'm thrilled to have won the giveaway!

    Shaz: They didn't look as pretty as they should have, but oh that taste!

    Carolyn: I do take my time in Whole Foods; am a little speedier in my regular market!

  42. I wish we had a world foods here! It looks so lovely and luscious Barbara! I love doing this with apples too- :D

  43. This looks like a case of simple is best. This really looks just plain scrumptious. I'm saving the recipe until local peaches are in the farmers market. It looks like it will be worth the wait.

  44. This is a wonderful dessert! I love the vanilla yogurt on top of the roast peaches, yum!

  45. Oh my goodness, those peaches are incredibly tempting! Love this!

  46. Heaven on a plate! What isn't to like about anything that combines peaches, honey, and vanilla? :)

  47. A lovely way of preparing peaches! Healthy and delicious!



  48. I love the simplicity of this recipe and it certainly looks delicious. I think we sometimes so mask the food we eat we can no longer really "taste" it. A handful of well-prepared ingredients can produce a real taste treat. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  49. Fun fact: The original Whole Foods is a few miles from my house I grew up in Austin.

  50. This is so delicious and simple to do - thanks for sharing this. I can't wait for peaches to come into season so I can do this. Love Lucie x

  51. Lorraine: Yes, it would be great with apples. I love baked apples, don't you?

    Cathy: How many times have we said that? Simple IS best!

    Natasha: Yes, the yogurt on peaches would be good even without the roasting. But not AS good.

    Silvia: Thanks for responding. I will use Greek yogurt for your dish. Am anxious to try it!

    Valerie: Perfect. It IS heaven on a plate!

    Rosa: Nice to see something non-fattening here, isn't it?

    Mary: The peaches shine right through with this dish!

    Blonde Duck: That is interesting; didn't know that!

    Lucie: I can't wait for the late summer peaches!

  52. Gosh, I love peaches so much and this looks like such a nice, light way to cook them.

  53. Barbara! my horse got pushed up against the rail twice at the Derby!
    but I did not bet too much, and I had a mighty fine mint julep thanks to your inspirational post!

    As for the peaches? its funny I was just speaking to a friend and we can't wait for the peaches in Georgia in just a few months! dee-licious recipe you have here Thanks!

  54. oh YUM. I always know it's summertime when the peach recipes come out to play!

  55. My favorite children's book ever (The Maggie B), which I read as a child and now read my children, features Maggie slipping a tray of peaches in the oven to warm for after supper. Magnificent memories, for me. I think I'll have to make a batch of these, when peaches come due.

  56. Oh my goodness, that sounds delicious. The saddest part of reading this, though, was that we do not have a Whole Foods within 100 miles of us, nevertheless I also love to wander around the produce section of Harris Teeter and Trader Joes!

  57. Perfect summertime dessert and also would make a great dish for Mother's Day. Thank you for sharing!

  58. OMG I am in peach heaven !

    I love peaches and plain yogurt.

    Don't laugh,but I did not know one could roast peaches.

    [but couldn't you drizzle a bit of chocolate on them?]
    P.S Your kids are NEVER going to leave home! :)

  59. OMG. That sounds INCREDIbLE. I can just imagine how amazing the smell must be of those baking peaches! Wow! And haha, I spend way too much time browsing through WF, too! ;-)

  60. MSmeanie: Always nice to see a lo cal dessert here, isn't it?

    Natural Selection: I had better luck at the Derby!

    Phoenix: I agree completely!

    Molly: I loved that book too, but had forgotten about the peaches!

    Laura: You have a Trader Joe's! Lucky you!

    Bridgett: Perfect, but 'ware those pits!

    Ubermouth: Never thought of chocolate...don't think it would work well here. ;)

    Sophia: Whole Foods is truly addictive, but chock full of ideas!

  61. oh my gosh! that looks amazing! ha, we know we're foodies when we love spending an afternoon wandering through whole foods more than the mall! :)

  62. Ha! What a funny post, Barbara. I love the way you write. And, I love this dessert. Aren't peaches lovely? Stone fruit is my favorite part of summer...

  63. I'll have to wait quite a while for fresh peaches around here, but this recipe definitely looks worth the wait. It's going in my "to make" pile.

  64. wow - this sounds great!

  65. Queen Bitty suggests Baylor the Stickhorse King for an assistant.

  66. I can't wait for peaches! I have a couple of recipes waiting for them too. This dessert looks just delicious!

  67. Simply Life: Isn't that the truth?!

    Samantha: I love stone fruits as well. Can't wait to cook with more of them!

    Lynn: They'll be worth the wait.

    Lecia: It is!

    Blonde Duck: That might just work!

    Lisa; It is and I know you'll love it.

  68. I love peaches, are one of my favorites fruits, your dessert look absolutely lovely Barbara, huggs gloria

  69. What a great find! I love shopping at whole food market too. Lovely to see you made something nice with the peaches.

  70. Gloria: And peach season has barely begun!

    Ellie: It was a great find; I always have such good luck at Whole Foods.

  71. I'm like you - I can spend hours in a market or grocery - I just get lost in all the great produce. Lucky you found such wonderful peaches and made such a great dish out of it!

  72. OMG! I have not tried this yet, but already I can taste the buttery, sugary peaches and the warm juices flowing down my chin. I have GOT to try this! Thank you so much for sharing it.

  73. here in France we stil don't have peaches, spring doesn't semm to come
    your recepie realy temps me I'll try to not forget it

  74. Now that is one delicious looking dish!

  75. Oh.......this sounds fab. I love yoghurt on pancakes....and I would love these!

  76. How moving all you said about your mother !!!
    It shows how much you love her...I hope one day my daughters will say the same thing about me !!!
    Great recipe!
    Have a nice day !!!

  77. Mmmm those look wonderful. Simple, yet yummy.

  78. I'm putting together a small self-published peach cookbook for our August Peach Sale Fundraiser for Highlands Ranch Rotary. You can bet I'll include this recipe. Can't wait to give it a try. I loved the peach facts. Always wondered why some peaches were more cooperative than others. You're just like me, I browse Whole Foods...love that place.



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