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DigiBites: Let’s Make Some Ice Cream – And Gratin! (We Vote For The Peaches!)

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Photo: Epicurean Exchange

The best of the summer stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, cherries – the fruits with a “pit”), are beginning to come to market, and we in the 24/680 live near some of the BEST producers in the state in Brentwood.

Remember: nectarines are on the “dirty dozen” list; the group of produce with the most pesticide residues, so be sure to ALWAYS buy local and buy organic on these items.  Enjoy both peaches and nectarines in this dessert.  Nectarines can be used unpeeled, but peaches need to be peeled. Best to score the base with an “X”; blanched in boiling water for 30 – 45 second, and chill in an ice bath. Skins should come off easily.

Nectarine Gratin with Walnuts

(Click here for Honey-Lavender Ice Cream recipe!)

6 tablespoons butter, divided

8 tablespoons sugar, divided

4 white nectarines, split and pitted

4 yellow nectarines, split and pitted

2 whole eggs

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers (optional)

Powdered sugar

  • Preheat oven to 425˚F. Using 4 tablespoons of the butter, liberally coat a 3-1/2-quart oval baking dish (or similar), and then sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the sugar on the bottom.
  • Place the halved fruits, cut-sides down, in the casserole dish.  In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, flour, and salt until there are no lumps. Pour the batter evenly between the fruit, letting it drizzle down through the pieces to the bottom of the dish.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, the walnuts, and the lavender, if using.  Sprinkle evenly over the fruit.  Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons butter into small pieces and dot the top.
  • Bake until the topping is crisp, the fruit is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, and the batter has puffed and cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Serve hot or warm with a dusting of powdered sugar and vanilla or our featured Honey-Lavender Ice Cream

Serves 6 – 8

© 2009, Epicurean Exchange.  All rights reserved.

13 COMMENTS

  1. What kind of ice cream maker do you use or should we use. I have my parents old maker that we used to crank and that’s fun whenever we want to give the kids some exercise but I also see some modern designs in the store. Any suggestions? With this heat it may be time to invest in a new one!

    • Hi Siobhan – I use a simple Cuisinart Ice Cream maker ($60 at Sur La Table and William – Sonoma) with a removable freezer bowl. There are a few different models (between $60 and $125) and all provide good results.

    • Absolutely! My family always comments after a meal out, “Why do we even bother going out, when it’s so much better at home, prepared by you?” Well, sometimes I like to be spoiled too!

  2. First thing off your pictures are beautiful and your food looks wonderful. I love to cook and bake and look forward to your column and tips and I think you’re a generous person because most chefs I know refuse to talk about their recipes! I’m strreaming Babette’s Feast tonight just to keep in the spirit. I can’t wait to try making this gratin!

    • Thanks, Patricia! I am, above all, a teacher, and want my students, readers and followers to enjoy cooking more. I have no secrets and regularly share my recipes. I’m thrilled when someone tells me that they prepared a dish they learned from me and their family loved it! Priceless!

  3. So ready for this right now. Had to think about the lavender but it does sound kind of good.

  4. My grandmother used to make something like this. We were too poor to have it with ice cream but it was great without. I may have to give this a try.

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