Friday, August 27, 2010

Cleo Coyle's Drunken Peaches with fresh Ginger-Infused Whipped Cream

Cleo Coyle is author of the
bestselling Coffeehouse Mysteries
and Haunted Bookshop Mysteries
Learn more by clicking here.
As a little girl, growing up in a large Italian-American family, I remember aunts and uncles making good use of peaches that came in during the last days of summer. Whether perfectly sun-kissed or overripe and bruised, all were welcomed at their tables.

hey would peel the skins and cut the flesh into bite-sized pieces, taking care to remove any darkened or rotted areas from the imperfect fruits. Then they would place the pieces in a bowl, cover them with red wine, and chill the bowl for a few hours or even overnight. After dinner, they would serve the fruit in a pretty wine glass or dessert cup with whipped cream, ice cream, or (even better) a dollop of sweetened mascarpone cheese. And that should be that: an extremely easy end-of-summer recipe—except for one thing...

Although I absolutely love this dessert, my husband, who is not a big wine drinker, does not. So while I’m getting my peaches good and drunk, I treat my honey’s peaches with…well, honey. Orange blossom honey to be exact. And that’s my alternate recipe suggestion for you today. Toss those bite-sized peach pieces with a bit of honey, spoon them into a wine goblet, chill and serve with ginger-infused whipped cream.

Both of these simple but delicious recipes are below if you’d like them while the sun is still warm and the peaches are still cheap. La dolce vita!

Just one final, strawberry-flavored note for you. The other day, one of the many supportive followers of this blog (Nicole), let me know (via Facebook) that she tried my homemade Strawberry Syrup recipe. If you missed that recipe, just click here to download it.

At the stage where nothing is left in the strainer but strawberry pulp, Nicole had a Eureka! moment. "Why throw out the pulp?" she wondered. Instead, to quote her: "I let it cool and then folded it into softened vanilla ice cream. I was very surprised at how well it turned out. All of the juice was out of the strawberries so the ice cream set up nicely." Nicole re-froze the ice cream and sampled it. How did it taste? Good. So there you have it. Waste not! Instead of throwing out the pulp, fold it into your ice cream. Thanks, Nicole. And now...

Cleo Coyle’s
Drunken Peaches

Serves 4

4 ripe yellow peaches
1 cup red wine * (see my note)

Peel the peaches and cut the flesh into bite-sized pieces. Place in a shallow bowl or plastic container and cover with wine. Toss to coat. Chill for several hours or overnight. Loosely strain the peaches of excess wine, and serve in glass goblets with a dollop of whipped cream, a scoop of ice cream, or a generous helping of sweetened mascarpone cheese.

*Note on the wine. My pop used to cover his peaches with a fairly dry, red table wine, one he made himself. I don’t make my own wine. For this recipe, I like a nice (cherry, oaky) Merlot. You should choose a red wine that you’d enjoy drinking.

Cleo Coyle's
Honey-Kissed Peaches
with Ginger-infused Whipped Cream

Serves 4

4 ripe yellow peaches
4 tablespoons honey (I use orange blossom)
1 cup heavy cream

3-4 tablespoons granulated sugar (to your taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Peel the peaches and cut the flesh into bite-sized pieces. Toss with honey to coat. Spoon into glass goblets and chill for 30 minutes to an hour (no more). Serve with a dollop of ginger-infused whipped cream. To make the whipped cream, simply place the heavy cream, sugar, and ginger into a well-chilled bowl (*see my note) and beat with an electric hand-mixer. The cream will thicken as you beat it. When it forms stiff peaks, you're done. (Do not over-beat. You'll either begin breaking it down again or you'll make butter!)

*Note: Using a chilled bowl will speed up the process of whipping your cream. I use a metal bowl that's been in the refrigerator for at least 30 mintues. I'll also put my hand-mixer's beaters into the freezer for 15 minutes.

Honey-Kissed Peaches
with Ginger-Infused Whipped Cream

* * * *

If you like this recipe, check out my
Honey-Glazed Peach Crostata!
To see that recipe, click here and...

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the
added bonus of recipes.

To get more of my recipes,
enter to win free coffee, or
learn about my books,
including my bestselling
Haunted Bookshop series,
visit my online coffeehouse:

Murder by Mocha

Now a national bestseller
from Penguin Books

For a peek at this culinary mystery's bonus chocolate recipes, click here!

"...a tasty espresso-dark tale of
multigenerational crime and
punishment lightened by the Blend's
frothy cast of lovable eccentrics."
~ Publishers Weekly

To order from Amazon, click here.
To order from Barnes and Noble click here.

 Roast Mortem

Includes firehouse recipes!
To see some of this culinary mystery's featured recipes, click here.

A Reviewer’s Pick 
Favorite Book of the Year ~ 2010
Now a national bestseller
in paperback from Penguin!

To order from Amazon click here.
To order from Barnes and Noble, click here.

Cleo's Haunted Bookshop

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of The Haunted Bookshop
, which
Cleo writes
 under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.


  1. I just brought home peaches from my neighborhood market here in Rome. I'm going to use those left in the fridge for this glorious recipe. Thanks for sharing.
    P.S. As I'm sure you know, latte in Italian means milk. Don't know why it's come to mean coffee in America.

  2. That sounds absolutely lovely. Peaches are new to Indian markets, so it is enough of a novelty for us to just eat them, but this sounds absolutely lovely.

  3. *sigh* if we had peaches that looked so good here in hawaii i would totally make that!!

  4. Morning Cleo... Well, it's noon somewhere, so time for these now!

    First.. AWESOME PHOTOS. That photo just below your head shot is inspiring. I looked at it for a bit and then realized I have the same frosted thick block glass in my bathroom (neighbors took a collection and bought them for me). Subliminal... fire up the jacuzzi, lock the door, a little Sinatra on the CD player and some drunken peaches. Very clever of you (if you were selling a jacuzzi).

    As to the recipe... Red wine? interesting. I have a similar dish that I serve, but it is white wine. I am amazed that an overnight soak did not color the peaches more red. Never tried it with red wine, but that slight color change looks fabulous. worth a try now.

    Fresh produce rocks right now... great post!

  5. Cleo, I love the stories about your family--I think they must really have loved food and found so many creative ways to enjoy it! They both sound great--the drunken peaches sound especially up my alley! Looking forward to giving it a try!

  6. I agree with Elizabeth - I love the family stories. These drunken peaches are gorgeous! Can't wait to try.

  7. Thanks for the recipe Cleo! I think I will try the honey version. Neither my husband or I like red wine (*sorry*) but we both love peaches!! Can't wait to try more of your recipes!!!

  8. This sounds great, but red wine is an instant migraine for me. Have you ever tried it with a white wine?

  9. Sounds like a delicious summer treat either way you prepare it. Love peaches so this will be a delight to try. Thanks for the mention. I do so enjoy your Coffeehouse Mystery series.


    Thoughts in Progress

  10. Wow, Cleo, so beautiful. Your pictures are always a feast for the eyes and your recipes delectably tempting. This is a gorgeous recipe and I love the idea of not wasting the strawberry pulp. Genius way to use it!


  11. I love reading the family stories as well. The recipe came just in time to use up the last of my peaches. I will use he honey version for the kiddos.

  12. Wow does that look good! What a great idea for peaches!

  13. thanks for sharing your peaches recipe...sounds very refreshing :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  14. My new favorite is fresh fruit with Yoplait vanilla yoghurt. I like it much better than ice cream!

  15. MMM... these look delicious! Love peaches, red wine, honey and whipped cream ... so these recipes HAVE to be awesome! :) Thanks for sharing.

  16. We have been grilling peaches for dessert. I can NOT express the extra oomph and sweetness it adds to the flavor!


    janece1 (at) suarez-turner (dot) com
    kariteimo (at) gmail (dot) com

  17. I need that mug filled with coffee right about now. Great recipe for peaches.

  18. Simple, easy, elegant! Lovely!

    Did you see the FB comment about the woman who is going to buy all of your books? She just read Roast Mortem and loved it! Congrats.

  19. Oh, Cleo. I just finished dinner (osso buco), and the peaches have been marinating for about 8 hours. They are amazing. I just poured on some heavy cream because that's what I have. I've poached fruit (especially pears) in red wine with cinnamon or other spices, but this is different and very good. A bonus I discovered while I was dishing up the peaches is that the wine develops a lovely peachy flavor. I'm going to pour some into a liqueur glass and enjoy it after I do the dishes.

  20. Peaches, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! Thanks for sharing wonderful ideas, Cleo. I think there's still a few grilling days left this season, and as much as I love peaches fresh, I'll be grilling them until they caramelize.

  21. What great pictures of peaches... I'm going to try this recipe...I like all the ingredients. Thanks for this.

  22. Love your books and the recipes are great too...thanks for your great website.

  23. This sounds yummy and would make a "fancy" dessert served in pretty glasses. I wonder what other spirits would work with peaches. Hmmm....

  24. Your peaches sound just wonderful, and I love your trailer!

    ~ Krista

  25. Peaches - sounds wonderful! Thanks for the recipe. I just started reading an ARC of Roast Mortem and so far am loving it!

  26. Sounds great. Can't wait to get some peaches and give it a try.

  27. Honeyed peaches? Ginger-infused whipped cream? Ohhh .....

  28. I recently found a new-to-me roadside stand that sells the best peaches EVER! I have been munching on them nonstop.

  29. YUM! I recently became "addicted" to honey, on my yogurt, peaches, and in my tea. Need to look for the orange blossom honey that you recommend, thanks!!!!

  30. I'll take the drunken version please! I grew up with a version of this dessert too!

  31. Reply to...

    @Patricia Winton - I'm absolutely delighted that you've posted from Rome - and so pleased to hear that you tried and enjoyed my drunken peaches. Love your note about the wine getting a peachy flavor (and worth drinking in a liqueur glass). That is an excellent idea and a byproduct of this process that I failed to mention. Thank you!

    @Rayna - From Patricia in Rome to you in India! As I sit here in New York City typing this, I am loving this wonderful armchair trip around the globe. Interesting to know that peaches are an exotic fruit in itself where you live. They are very delicious. And, of course, there are fruits that are probably more common in your area of the world than here. "Star Fruit" or Carambola, for example, is amaing to me. I just love it, but we hardly ever see it in our markets. Thank you for stopping by and commenting and I hope you'll be back again.

    @suiling - Okay! Rome, India, and now to you in Hawaii! We are definitely making this a world tour. Glad you dropped in and good luck in the drawing.

    More replies to come...

  32. Replies to…

    @ A Year on the Grill – Dave! Always great to see you here. Thank you for the nice words about the photos. I wish my block glass included a Jacuzzi. Alas, it is only part of a small back porch on our Queens row house. But the porch is sunny and pretty and I’m not complaining. I’ve never tried white wine with the peaces, but I’m sure it would work just as well (like a sangria blanco). But I do love the gorgeous color they turn after their overnight soak in red wine. You’re right about the fresh produce. Time to take advantage of that last gasp of summer’s bounty – and the low, low prices on it all!

    @Elizabeth/Riley – Oh, yes, my family loved food. While I was growing up, my dad grew our family’s vegetables, maintained a small orchard, and made his own wine from grapes he grew himself. My grandmother made her own bread daily in an outdoor oven, and my mother and her older sister (who lived with us) cooked from scratch daily. I learned from them and that love lives on in my own kitchen. :)

    @Kaye – So nice to see you here again! I so enjoyed your guest post for us, and I hope you enjoy today’s peachy ideas.

    More replies to come…

  33. Replies to…

    @ Linda – No apologies necessary! That’s exactly why I included the honey-kissed version. Like you, my husband is not a big fan of wine in general. And when we do have it, he prefers white or sparkling (usually Prosecco). I hope you enjoy it!

    @Bookwoman – White wine or champagne would work well, I think. After all, Prosecco with peach nectar will give you a classic Bellini, so it should be a great pairing. Enjoy!

    @Mason Canyon – Thank you again for reviewing Roast Mortem. Because you’re a longtime reader of my Coffeehouse books, I’m especially happy to know you gave it a northward-pointing thumb.

    @Julie – Aw, thanks for the nice words on my pics. I’m nowhere near the level of those incredibly talented photographers in the blogosphere, but I try my best. And you’re right about the strawberry pulp. I loved Nicole’s tip and thought she was a peach for passing it on.

    @ Babs – So great to see you dropping in again. The honey-kissed peaches really are a treat with that fresh ginger whipped cream. Light, fresh, and oh-so-good!

    More replies to come…

    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  34. Replies to….

    @PoCoKat – Thank you. If you like peaches, I think you’ll love getting drunk with them. :)

    @KarenK – They are definitely refreshing. It’s a wonderful dessert for warm summer days.

    @CindyD – Sounds good. I think honey, peaches, and plain yogurt are fantastic, too. Never tried yogurt and wine, but you never know!

    @Susan - You are most welcome. Thank you for dropping by today.

    @Janece - I love grilled peaches, too. Try them with my fresh ginger whipped cream (Or some sweetened mascarpone cheese.) Really off the charts.

    @Leni - Thanks for stopping by. (And java hits are always welcome ’round here.)

    More replies to come…

    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  35. I'm going to run out and get some peaches NOW! :-)

  36. They may be druken, but they sure are gorgeous!

  37. Haha, I like the name of this dish and those peaches look so fresh and juicy, wish I had one right now!

  38. I'm back! With replies to…

    @Avery Aames - Thanks, Avery. I appreciate that!

    @moonglowgardens – White, yellow, redskin, bonita, donut, dessert gold, with cream, in cobbler. . . . Oh, yes, yes, yes I can count the ways to love peaches, too.

    @Jackie W – I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Thanks for coming by.

    @Joye – Aw, thanks. I try. Come on back again, okay?

    @Elizabeth – Lots of spirits would work here, including champagne – or any sparkling white wine. The classic Bellini cocktail is made from Prosecco and white peaches, after all. Just remember, drunken peaches and driving do not mix. :)

    More replies to come…

    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  39. Replies to...

    @Krista – Thank you, K. I’m glad you enjoyed the book trailer, too.

    @Donna T - Hope you like, Donna. Thanks for stopping by.

    @Laineshots – I positively guarantee that ginger-infused whipped cream will tickle you taste buds—all 10,000 of them.

    @DarcyO – Oh, yes, peaches are everywhere. I’m just doing my part to move them out of green grocer stalls and onto dinner tables. :) I think you’ll enjoy Roast Mortem, too, Darcy.

    @Janel – Oh, that sounds amazing. I hope you bought enough to share with everyone. :)

    @BookLady – Great to hear that. I love the orange blossom honey. A tiny bit of orange zest is a nice addition to this dessert, as well. I left that option out because I think a lot of people would find that the zest would detract from the pure flavor of late-summer peaches. But I think a little orange zest does add a very nice zing to a mix of yogurt, honey, and peaches.

    @foodies at home – Great minds get sloshed alike, lol. Thank you for sharing your memories.

    More replies to come…

    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  40. Replies to…

    @Thomas Andrew – Wait! I’m coming with. I have another peach recipe to make tonight, and I’m suddenly peachless!

    @Shirley – I said it before and I’ll say it again – do not let your drunken peaches drive. :)

    @Debbie – Sending you a *virtual* peach right now. Eat with joy!

    Cheers, everyone!
    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter