Editor’s note: Sadie Davis-Suskind, 14, is an eighth grader at Jane Addams Middle School and an aspiring chef. A former “MasterChef Junior” competitor, Davis-Suskind will share a recipe each week that other kids can make as well.
Barbecues, watermelon, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream sandwiches, concerts in the park, laughing kids running around in the dark, sparklers sparkling, majestic fireworks, family and friends gathering: This is what I picture when I think about the Fourth of July.
The day may be a bit different for us all this year. You may only be whooping it up with your immediate family or those folks in your quarantine bubble. But even so, the food and magic can still be the same.
This recipe for grilled peaches with whipped cream and fregolotta (from “fregole,” the Venetian word for crumbs) is sure to please everyone from the youngest to the more “seasoned” Fourth of July partyers! You can finish the dish with a light sprinkle of flaky sea salt, which I think takes it over the edge of sublime, and add some torn mint leaves for color and a fresh taste.
Simple, seasonal and so tasty, this is one of my very favorite summer treats, and I think you’ll agree. Enjoy!
Grilled peaches with whipped cream and fregolotta
Electric hand mixer
½ cup blanched almonds
1 cup flour
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornmeal (I like medium for a crunchier texture but fine-grind also works)
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
Optional: flaky salt for sprinkling
6 ripe peaches, medium or smaller, halved with the pits removed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
Honey or maple syrup
Bake your fregolotta:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the almonds onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast them until they reach a golden-brown color, about five to seven minutes. Let them cool and then pulse them in your food processor until they are ground up to the point where you can still see little bits of almond (if you don’t have a food processor, use a knife to finely chop the almonds).
2. Mix together your almond, flour, sugar, cornmeal and salt (medium for a crunchier fregolotta, finer for a smoother taste) into a bowl. Melt your butter in a small saucepan and then add it in along with the vanilla and almond extracts. Using your fingers (wash your hands!), mix this all together until it becomes crumbly. Pour out the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping the dough over at the halfway point. Set aside.
Grill your peaches:
1. Cut the peaches along their seams, all the way around, and twist their halves off their pits.
2. Have your adult fire up the grill to a medium heat point. If you are cooking on a charcoal grill, wait until the fire has died down to medium to low heat. Brush each side of the peaches with veggie oil and grill, flesh side down for about six to eight minutes, until the fruit starts to develop grill marks and softens. Flip over the fruit and grill for a few more minutes depending upon the size of your peaches: two to three minutes for medium-sized peaches, a minute or so for smaller ones. Take off grill and set aside.
Whip your cream:
Beat the heavy cream in a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer until stiff peaks form (or, if you are very strong, whip it yourself with a whisk). Gently add in almond extract.
Make the magic happen:
Place a peach on a plate, add some whipped cream and scatter the fregolotta over the top. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup. Sit back and watch the fireworks.
A very happy Fourth of July to all of you!