Dessert Rub with Grilled Peaches and Smoky Whipped Cream

What You'll Need

  • measuring cups and spoons
  • good kitchen knife and clean cutting surface
  • whisk
  • mixing bowl
  • plate or dish for rub
  • grill or grill pan
  • 6 firm, but ripe peaches or nectarines
  • coconut milk, coconut oil, or melted butter to coat the skin (optional)
For the Dessert Rub
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 small cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces, or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander
  • 1 teaspoon whole cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 whole nutmeg, grated (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
For the Smoky Spiced Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dessert Rub
  • 2 tablespoons Mezcal or 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke

Yes, we spelled that correctly, though you might be forgiven for thinking otherwise. You may be looking through the other recipes found in this issue of the journal, and imagining desert sands, traders from far lands carrying redolent spice blends, a desert rub from the sandy desert!

But we do mean dessert, not desert, with the double-s that’s so good you want to eat it twice.

This rub is magical on grilled peaches, with a smoky sweet whipped cream, but once you start in grilling stonefruit, you might get to thinking you can grill anything; pineapple and plums and nectarines and apple slices and bananas and mangos and grapefruit and oranges and lemons and limes…and you’d be right.
Grill everything. Start with peaches. The gateway grill fruit. They’re great on their own, but this smoky whipped cream, spiced with the dessert rub and a splash of mezcal, is a whole new level of incredible edible.

The smoky spiced whipped cream is based on a recipe we loved in Steven Raichlen’s Barbecue Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades--Bastes, Butters & Glazes, Too. We, the royal we, are so jealous that we did not think of it first. It is outta this world.


Make the Dessert Rub. put spices in mortarCombine the whole spices in a mortar and pestle, and grind them until they have reached a finely ground consistency.
grindMeasure the sugar into a low bowl. Add the fresh ground spices, and the other ingredients. mix in sugarMix until the spices are evenly distributed. Set this aside.
Pout the heavy cream into a mixing bowl, pour cream into bowland add 1 tablespoon Dessert Rub. add rubBeat until soft peaks form. Add the second tablespoon of Dessert Rub, and the mezcal (or liquid smoke, if using.) add mezcalBeat until stiff peaks form. soft peaksSet in the fridge to chill while you grill. Don’t spill!
Cut the peaches in half, from stem to tip. Remove the pit with a spoon, if it does not easily slip away from the flesh.
Brush the peaches with coconut milk, melted coconut oil, or melted butter, if desired. (This is not strictly necessary, but it helps the rub stay on the fruit, and lends another rich layer of flavor to the dish.) If you opt to skip this step, rub the cut halves of the peaches over the round, skin sides of the other peaches, so that the outside of the peaches are damp and the rub will stick to them.
dredge in rubDredge the peach halves in the Dessert Rub.
On a heated grill over high heat, place the peaches face side down and grill for 5 minutes, or until the sugars have become slightly burnt and caramelized on the cut face. grill peachesFlip the peaches over and grill on the other side for about 3 more minutes. Remove the peaches from the heat.
remove from grillSet the barbecued peaches out on a platter. Spoon the smoky whipped cream over the peaches, and sprinkle a bit of Dessert Rub over the top, if desired.
spoon on creamCrazy, crazy good.

Over to You

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