Grilled fruit makes for an exceptional dessert!
I never really thought about grilling fruit until I met the fantastic Chef Steph “the Grilling Gourmet” Legari a number of years ago. He opened my eyes to a world of possibilities for using a standard home barbeque in lots of different ways. So it came as no surprise to find a dessert on the menu when the Dairy Farmers of Canada contacted me about their campaign to promote grilling recipes that incorporate cream.
Above is a serving of my take on their grilled peach trifle with lemon buttermilk cake (which was, as promised, simple to make and very delicious). I made only slight modifications to the supplied recipe, mostly to make it easy to enjoy the dessert for several days. Had I assembled it all at once per their format (below), well, I would have had to eat a whole lot of trifle in one sitting. While that would have been really tasty, when you cook all day long, you tend not to overeat, knowing there’s always more tastes just around the corner…
When organizations ask me to test recipes, I really appreciate when they make it super easy for me to do so. Below, a case in point – all the ingredients for the trifle were kindly supplied, so I could jump right into baking mode.
I encourage you to try your hand at preparing this yummy recipe which was developed by Calgary’s Chef Michael Allemeier. There are several other easy and delicious ones as well, available here.
For lemon buttermilk cake:
- 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each, baking soda, baking powder and salt
- 6 tbsp (90 mL) buttermilk
- 1 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced (about 3 tbsp/45 mL)
For raspberry syrup:
- 2 cups (500 mL) frozen or fresh raspberries
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) each, granulated sugar and water
- 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice
Almond whipped cream:
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) 35% whipping cream
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp (3 mL) almond extract (note that the original recipe called for 3/4 tsp)
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla
- 4 to 6 freestone peaches, cut in half and pitted
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) toasted sliced almonds
For lemon buttermilk cake:
- Pre-heat oven to 325F (160C). Lightly butter a 10-inch (25 cm) non- stick springform pan; line bottom with parchment paper. *NOTE: I used a 9×13” rectangular baking pan, lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together sugar, butter and vanilla, until creamy and smooth. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time.
- Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a small bowl. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk until well mixed.
- Add lemon zest and juice; mix well. Spread into the prepared pan; smooth top.
- Bake for about 35 – 40 minutes until tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove from pan and cool on rack completely.
For raspberry syrup:
- In a medium saucepan, combine raspberries, sugar, water and juice; bring to a simmer on high heat, stirring frequently.
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes or until raspberries are completely broken down. Strain through a fine meshed sieve, pressing on berries to extract juice.
- Discard seeds and refrigerate syrup to cool completely.
For grilled peaches:
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Place peaches cut side down on greased grill; grill covered for 3 – 4 minutes or until grill marks appear.
- Turn peaches over and grill 1 – 2 minutes longer.
- Cool to room temperature, up to 6 hours – refrigerate if storing for longer before assembling trifle.
- NOTE: I cut each peach half into four slices to make them easier to eat.
For almond whipped cream:
- In a chilled bowl, whip cream, icing sugar, and almond and vanilla extracts until stiff peaks form.
- Refrigerate if not assembling cake immediately.
- On a serving platter, place cake. Cut a wafer thin horizontal slice off the top of the cake (and enjoy).
- Drizzle with 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the raspberry syrup.
- Spread almond cream to the edges. Place grilled peach halves on top. Drizzle remaining raspberry syrup and sprinkle with almonds. Serve immediately.
- Cut the cooled cake into 3” squares and place each piece on a plate, upside down (the bottom of the cake will absorb the raspberry syrup better than the crispier top).
- Follow above instructions to top with syrup, almond cream, peaches and almonds.
- Add a couple of whole raspberries as a finishing touch.
- Prepare components of this recipe ahead and assemble when ready to enjoy.
- The lemon buttermilk cake keeps well for several days, wrapped well in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature or can be frozen for 3 – 4 weeks.
- If fresh peaches are not available, substitute canned peach halves, well drained.
Serves 8 – 12.