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Grilled Panettone with Peaches

Servings: 4
End your cookout with a bang -- dessert prepared over an open flame. Panettone, a traditional Italian dessert bread served at Christmastime, gets a summer twist in this recipe, where it's grilled for a few seconds and topped with flame-kissed peaches and vanilla sauce. Make your own panettone or purchase a loaf at your local Italian market or through an online provider.

1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, halved and scraped
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
4 ripe peaches
Vegetable oil, for brushing
4 large slices panettone
1/3 cup creme fraiche

Put the sugar, vanilla bean, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer the mixture without stirring it for 10 minutes, then remove it from the heat, stir in the Grand Marnier and keep it warm.

Dip the peaches into a saucepan of boiling water for 5 seconds, then rinse them under cold water and remove the skins, which should slip off easily. Cut the peaches in half, remove the pits and lightly brush the cut sides with oil. Preheat a barbecue grill to medium heat and grill the peaches, cut side down, for 5 minutes or until golden and warmed through. Grill the panettone for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side or until it is marked and lightly toasted. The panettone will brown very quickly, so be careful not to burn it. Arrange the grilled peaches over the panettone, drizzle with the vanilla syrup and serve with a scoop of creme fraiche.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: BBQ Food: Get Out of the Kitchen and Turn Up the Heat by Kay Scarlett

Date: August 12, 2006