National Peach Ice Cream day was a couple of weeks ago, so in an effort to stay on theme I decided to create a bourbon peach crisp with vanilla bean ice cream. Nature's candy is in season, after all, and boy are they sweet this time of year! Now isn't that just peachy.
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I know, it's summer. Why would anyone want to eat a warm dessert? I was thinking the same thing before I made this dish. But, you've got to trust me when I say that the cool addition of vanilla bean ice cream makes this the perfect dessert to conclude any summer event.
Bourbon peach crisp is not your average peach cobbler. Bourbon is generally characterized has having big vanilla, oak and caramel notes, which is why it pairs so well with the vanilla bean infused butter and sugars (no vanilla extract used here!), as well as the vanilla bean ice cream. It's sweet and syrupy on the inside with a crispy topping that carries notes of toffee and caramel. Basically… GET IN MY MOUTH.
Peaches are one of those fruits that I love SO much but often forget how much I love them until the season is half over. I generally pass them by at the grocery store without second thought, opting for your basic bananas, apples, blueberries, etc. On the days where I remember how good they are, I end up kicking myself for not buying them more regularly. But, they are also one of those fruits that you have to buy when they are just right or they are simply not the same. Nobody likes a bad peach.
One of my favorite things about this recipe is how the crunchy topping pairs with the soft and warm peaches. There is something super sweet and savory about this combination that is unbeatable!
Cooking this in a cast-iron skillet rather than a regular baking dish has it's benefits, the most important being that cast-iron is naturally non-stick. This not only makes it much easier to clean, but also makes for an easy transition from the stove top to the oven (we don't do that in this recipe, just a helpful fact). Can you imagine cleaning all of that gooey, peachy goodness after it's been baked onto a regular baking dish? I can imagine it and I am not up for it.
This recipe calls for about 2 lbs of peaches (about 6 cups sliced), but if you love them as much as I do, I would throw a few extra into your grocery basket. You'll inevitably snack on a few slices as you bake. This dish is best served warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top, but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't eat some straight out of the refrigerator and it was great cold!