EAT A PEACH
The last of summer’s peaches are larger than baseballs. They make me think of Dori Sanders, South Carolina novelist and peach farmer extraordinaire. The last time I stopped at her farm stand, there was a peach calendar, of sorts (“Expect Albertas about the first week of August”), so you could plan a trip accordingly, and there was a handy roll of paper towels next to the peaches for tasting.
Here in Northeast, the weather has made for Dori-worthy fruit—intensely sweet and juicy. Yesterday, I could have made a cobbler, with a thick, golden, biscuity crust; or a pie, with a flakier crust; or what in some Savannah houses are called “bourbonated” peaches—a syrupy, suave conserve that’s fabulous with ham or chicken for dinner, alongside pound cake for dessert, or straight out of the jar when no one is looking.
But instead I tried a stunningly simple approach I learned from the masterful Georgeanne Brennan just over a year ago: I put whole peaches in a baking dish and rolled them around in a nice amount of olive oil. Then I scattered a generous amount of sugar over them and tucked them in the oven before we sat down to dinner with friends we hadn’t seen forever.
In other words, I did no work whatsoever.
I didn’t really think about dessert again until the aroma reached the dinner table. “I could just roll around in that smell,” someone declared, and almost knocked over a wineglass. Embellished with a little crème fraîche, the roasted peaches had a deep-flavored sweetness and almost molten texture. They somehow managed to pull off the trick of being simultaneously understated and luxurious, which might be a little old-fashioned, but it is a very neat trick indeed.