Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Grilled Peach Shortcakes
This past weekend, Lucy and I headed out of town to spend a couple days with my sisters while Paul watched Matthew and Emma. I was shocked by the number of people who seemed genuinely surprised that I would leave two of my children alone with their father. Maybe it has something with how fathers are always portrayed in the media as inept, bone-headed, man children who are completely incapable of being responsible parents. Sure, they may give their best attempt, but utter chaos always ensues. I can assure you that for as much as I like to poke fun at my Paul, he is more than capable of taking care of the children all by his lonesome.
My brother 18-year-old brother Mark had the complete opposite reaction. He could not believe that I was taking Lucy with me. The conversation went something like this:
Mark: "So are you looking forward to a weekend without the kids?"
Me: "Well, I'll still have Lucy with me."
Mark: "Lucy? You're bringing her with you!?"
Mark: "Oh. Are you still breastfeeding her?"
Me: "She's only 9 weeks old! Of course I'm still breastfeeding her!"
Mark: "Oh. How long do you keep doing that?"
Me: "About a year."
Mark: "A year!!?"
You would never have guessed that Mark is one of eleven children. You'd think he'd know that where mommy goes, the baby shall be attached to her hip for the first 12 months of life.
Lucy and I had a grand time with all the sisters - we wined, we dined, we shopped. It was a great break for me! When I returned home, I was so pleased to hear that Paul's weekend had been just as great with the kids. He had taken them to the lake, the zoo, out for breakfast, and out for ice cream. Emma informed me that she had even driven a motor boat at the lake and Matthew had enjoyed his first time tubing! After hearing about all their adventures, I was beginning to worry that the kids would find me boring after all the fun times and sweet treats they had just enjoyed with their daddy. But not really. I was happy that he had spent the time bonding with them - it was such a good weekend for him too!
Lucy was so happy to see her daddy again after a weekend away. I had missed him a bit myself..
When I returned home, Paul was grilling a delicious dinner of pork chops and salad. He also planned to serve a grilled peach cobbler. He grilled the peaches with brown sugar and butter, then peeled and chopped the peaches before tossing them in their own syrupy juices. He served the peaches with freshly baked sugar biscuits and generous scoops of pistachio ice cream. Oh my, this was heavenly! Paul and I inhaled our portions - we loved this so much! The kids for some reason were much more dainty and slow in their dessert eating that night, but they licked their plates clean as well! I told Paul that he should make a grilled cobbler every Sunday. It was such a great, low-fuss dessert, and the grilled flavor in the fruit was awesome. I can't wait for him to make this again.
Grilled Peach Shortcakes
from the Weber Grill Cookbook
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
½ cup half-and-half, cold
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
4 large freestone peaches, firm but ripe, cut in half lengthwise, pits removed
¼ cup packed golden brown sugar
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a large bowl combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt, and blend well. Add the butter and mix with a fork or a pastry blender just until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add the half-and-half and gently stir it in (the mixture will be crumbly). Then use your hands to mix the dough quickly and gently in the bowl just until it comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Lightly dust your hands with flour and gently pat out the dough to about ¾ inch thick. Dip a round biscuit cutter, 2½ to 3 inches in diameter, in flour and cut out rounds of dough. Gather scraps of dough and pat out, using a light touch so you don’t overwork the dough; cut to make a total of eight shortcakes. Place the shortcakes about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the melted butter. Bake the shortcakes for 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350-450 degrees F).
Brush the cooking grates clean. Sprinkle the cut side of the peach halves with the brown sugar. Grill the peach halves, cut side up, over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until the sugar melts and the peaches are soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully remove from the grill and pour the melted brown sugar from the peaches into a medium bowl.
Pull the charred skin off the peaches and discard. Cut the peaches into bite-sized pieces and add them to the bowl with the melted brown sugar. Gently toss to coat. Split each shortcake horizontally and top each bottom half with equal portions of the peaches. Add the shortcake tops and garnish with a generous scoop of ice cream (we loved pistachio!).