Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Ice Cream

Most of the time, our first venture into cooking involves following a recipe.  Sometimes it’s our mother’s recipe, sometimes it’s from a cookbook, or other times we’re simply reading the back of a box.

I remember the first recipe that called me into the kitchen.  It was a recipe for minestrone soup.  It called for almost half a jar of dried rosemary.  As I stirred, it floated to the top and reminded me of toenail clippings.  To this day, dried rosemary is dead to me.  The soup was bland as army food and it made enough to feed one too.  I lived alone, and I ate my way through that whole pot.

For a long time, I followed recipes to a T.  It never occurred to me to branch out.  If that Italian beauty on the Food Network said it was delicious, I made it exactly how she made it.  It wasn’t until a few years later that I had the urge to come up with something on my own.

My first ‘no recipe cooking’ endeavor was grilled peaches.  It was one of those first few nights in California where I attended a cookout with some new friends.  Everyone took turns grilling their contribution to the meal, and soon, all that was left was dessert.  Thinking back, I’m sure none of those Californians expected dessert after such a heavy meal, but I came here ready to preach the Southern gospel: ‘no meal is complete without dessert.’  I stirred together a sauce to brush over the peaches.  I don’t think it was my own epiphany—I had seen someone else grill peaches before (most likely on TV), but I couldn’t recall the exact ingredients.  I used what I had on hand and came up with a cinnamon, brown sugar and Frangelico sauce.  I dipped the peaches in it, placed them on the grill cut-side down, flipped them and brushed more of the sauce on top.  I dropped them onto everyone’s potato salad-stained paper plates and watched their faces light up with the first bite of warm peach.  Feeling like a food genius, I vowed to stop using recipes.

I’ve had my fair share of cooking flops along the way (you can not make béchamel with buttermilk), but one thing that fuels me to keep trying is these grilled peaches.  If my first attempt tastes this good, then there’s gotta be more delicious success on the way.

Premium quality cinnamon is paramount for this recipe.  Like always, I recommend Spices, Inc.  I used spicy Saigon cinnamon, but sweeter Ceylon would be a great choice as well.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Ice Cream
Makes ~ 1 pint of ice cream.
For the cinnamon ice cream:
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk (whole is best, but 2% is ok)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
For the peaches:
  • 2 ripe freestone peaches (do not use cling peaches)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ⅛ cup Frangelico (hazelnut liquor)
  • Oil for greasing grates
  1. In a medium bowl, beat together vigorously the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Beat very well with a whisk until it turns pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, warm the milk and cream in a small saucepan on the stove. Once tiny bubbles form around the edge of the pan, remove it from the heat and begin to slowly add it to the egg yolk mixture while constantly whisking. Once the two mixtures are combined, pour them back into the pan, and turn the heat down to medium low. Cook, stirring constantly until a thickened sauce forms, one that coats the back of a spoon. (Use your finger to draw a line through the sauce on the spoon—if it holds, you’re finished).
  3. Remove the custard from the heat, pour it through a sieve, then place it in the fridge overnight to chill thoroughly.
  4. The next day, ensure your ice cream maker bowl is completely frozen. Add your chilled custard and churn 20-30 minutes, until it looks like soft serve. Scoop it from the ice cream maker into a storage container, then place it in the freezer to harden for several hours.
  5. Move on to the peaches: In the smallest saucepan you own, stir together the brown sugar and Frangelico. Let it come to a light simmer and stir to ensure the brown sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  6. Cut the peaches in half and twist apart (if you didn’t buy freestone peaches, you will now see why you should have). Brush your grill grates with oil. Brush each peach half with the brown sugar sauce and place on the grill, cut side down. When nice grill marks form, flip the peaches and cook a few more minutes.
  7. Serve the grilled peaches topped with scoops of the cinnamon ice cream.
*Note: If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making cinnamon ice cream, add ½ teaspoon cinnamon to your brown sugar sauce instead. It’s just as delicious.


  1. says

    I’m so glad you took a leap of faith and invented your own recipes — this sounds delicious and will go perfectly with our grilled pork loin this weekend! (Sorry you had to eat that whole pot of minestrone soup, though…) Loved your “Southern gospel” statement about dessert. :)

  2. says

    I loved this post, Christina. That first “hey, I can cook!” epiphany is a powerful one. Mine came after I moved to England and had to start cooking for James and me unless I wanted 5 alarm curry or stir fry for every meal. I’m not saying they don’t have their place, but sometimes a girl just wants chicken noodle soup, you know? Which is another thing that flung me into branching out. There were so many things I couldn’t get in England – like chicken noodle soup (!) that I had to start making my own.

    It’s funny the path food leads us down, and the passion it inspires, isn’t it? I’ve never grilled peaches, but I’m betting they’d be pretty spectacular on top of grilled pound cake too.

  3. says

    Christina, this dessert look delicious. I love the fact that I can just pop the peaches on the grill, to make a great tasty homemade dessert without the hassle on turning the oven on. I will most definitely try it. Thank for the recipe. I love it!!

  4. says

    Cinnamon ice cream sounds fantastic. I’ve been obsessed with grilling for the past few month; we’ve done pineapple, but never peaches! Perhaps this weekend!

  5. says

    Wonderful! I am allergic to cinnamon, but I still tell EVERYONE to use Vietnamese Cinnamon – there is nothing finer! I love it, and wish these allergies didn’t creep up on me. Beautiful pictures and great post!

  6. says

    “toenail clippings” lol

    love your grilled peaches, ahh i have been enjoying texas peaches daily with my oatmeal, salads and smoothies..need to urge hubby to heat up the grill. so hot here, lol
    have a great weekend!

  7. says

    LOVE grilled peaches… And plums!

    I usually use recipes as a guide and often substitute ingredients based on what we have on hand! And I rarely measure anything, partly because I’m lazy and partly because I think its more fun to add a ‘dash of this and a sprinkle of that’!

  8. says

    This looks glorious :P~ thank you so much for sharing your recipes, I can’t wait to try this one definitely!! Cinnamon ice cream melting over hot peaches …my mouth is salivating!

    Don’t just think of the peaches to fuel you to keep trying, think of us adoring blog readers lol …we want you to keep sharing your experiments with us x

  9. says

    Beautifully written post! I love branching out and trying new things, especially when they are a success! But trial and error are what makes cooking (and baking) so much fun.

  10. says

    Such flawless grill marks you achieved! I don’t know if I could manage such finesse… I’m not really experienced with grilling. It could be a fun challenge though, because this looks like such a great summer dessert.

  11. says

    mmm, you can’t go wrong with grilled peaches. i love that you can dessertify them, like you did here, or take them on a savory course, with some prosciutto + parmesan. we’re supposed to go peach-picking this weekend so i’m keeping my eye out for some interesting + new peach recipes!

  12. says

    i am such a sucker for grilled peaches, ever since I had it at the Ferry Building from Frog Hollow…best thing I’ve ever consumed at a farmer’s market…in san francisco…on a saturday. :)


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