With all the bbq, coleslaw and potato salad we will enjoy this week, I know I will be craving an easy summer dessert. I really don’t like to bake, mostly because the flour makes a mess and there are way too many utensils and bowls to clean up, but also because all the precise measuring irks me. I prefer to throw things together and eyeball the amounts or tweak the ingredients to suit my taste. So when I came across this two bowl, one fork, no-oven-needed recipe, I knew I had a winner!
Nectarines are in peak season in July. They are loaded with vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber. In the summer, nectarines are always in the rotation at our house, but fresh peaches would be a nice stand in, if you prefer.
I always roast plenty of extra nuts so I have them on hand to toss in salads or on cereal or yogurt. Use a dry iron skillet–clean up is as simple as a swipe with a paper towel.
Tip: Let the fruit cool down before adding the mascarpone. Otherwise it kind of melts all over the place.
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- ¾ cup roasted, salted pecans, finely chopped
- ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick), at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons brandy (I omitted this and the result was still amazing)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 medium, ripe, but firm nectarines (about 2½ pounds), halved and pitted (substitute peaches, if desired)
- Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium high (about 375°F to 425°F).
- Stir together the mascarpone cheese, sugar, and lemon zest in a small bowl until evenly combined, then set aside.
- Meanwhile, place the pecans, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon in a medium bowl and pinch the mixture together with your fingers until moist and crumbly; set aside. Whisk the honey, brandy, and vanilla together in a small bowl; set aside.
- When the grill is ready, place the nectarines on a baking sheet and brush both sides with the honey mixture, using all of it. Place the nectarines cut-side down on the grill (reserve the baking sheet). Cover the grill and cook until grill marks appear on the bottom, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Using a flat metal spatula, flip the nectarines. Divide the pecan mixture among the nectarine halves, using all of it (about 1 heaping tablespoon per half). Cover the grill and cook until grill marks appear on the second side and the nectarines begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove the nectarines to the reserved baking sheet. Serve immediately or at room temperature, topping with the lemon-mascarpone mixture just before serving.
And if you want a slightly different twist, try making this as a brushetta. I had some extra nectarines so I decided to spread some of the lemon-scented mascarpone over grilled Italian bread slices, then I topped that with a couple of thinly sliced wedges of fruit, sprinkled a little pecan topping over it and voila! another fabulous way to enjoy summer’s bounty!