Grilled peaches with mascarpone and honey is one of the ultimate simple summer desserts. The grill's heat caramelizes the peaches and brings out their natural sugars and juices. Paired with sweet honey mascarpone, the flavors meld into a delightful combination of warm, tender fruit and cool, creamy mascarpone. Serve this easy grilled peach dessert with a chilled glass of dry 2019 Erath Rosé of Pinot Noir. Thanks to Erath Wines for sponsoring this post!
Late summer is laden with fragrant peaches. Although it's hard to beat the simplicity of a ripe peach eaten plain, juice running down your wrists, this recipe comes a close second. Just 5 minutes of time on a hot grill, and these peaches magically caramelize, release even more juices, and take on a smoky flavor and tender texture.
Combined with a honey sweetened mascarpone cream made with equal parts Greek yogurt and rich Italian mascarpone cheese, this peach recipe captures the essence of summer. It's an easy dessert that you can make outdoors when the heat is too oppressive for baking, or when you want something fruit-based that still feels like a bit of an indulgence.
Mascarpone is a favorite of mine in desserts. It's an incredibly flexible ingredient - I've used it in honey blackberry ice cream, this chocolate coffee mascarpone tart, to frost this blackberry poppy seed cake, and more... Here it lends a flavorful creaminess that works well with fragrant, acidic peaches.
Serve these bowls of mascarpone and peaches with a crisp, chilled rosé wine.
Wine Pairings with Grilled Peaches and Mascarpone
I've paired the 2020 Erath Rosé of Pinot Noir with this summery peach mascarpone dessert.
Erath wines are an expression of the land that the winery has cultivated for more than 40 years, longer than any other winery in the Dundee Hills of Oregon. Pinot grape varieties thrive in Oregon’s northern latitude.
Occasional marine breezes and long hours of sunshine create warm summer days and a cooler autumn that allow grapes to ripen gradually, key to producing memorable wines.
Erath Winery's philosophy towards their craft is simple: to create high quality wines that are fruit forward in style and reflect the Oregon vintage, soil and grapes.
2020 Erath Rosé of Pinot Noir - Fragrant wafts of guava, stone-fruit, citrus and heady carnation introduce this dry and delicately-hued rosé. A plush mouthful of luscious fruits--apricot nectar, melon, peaches with cream and golden raisin persists pleasingly as luminous acidity drenches the palate in a refreshing wave.
The light, fruit forward flavors in this wine make an excellent companion to the floral notes in the barbecued peaches.
- Peaches should be ripe but firm. If they are too tender, they will fall apart when grilled. Try to select freestone (cling free) peaches to make removing the pit easier. Yellow peaches are firmer than white peaches and are best for this recipe.
- Neutral vegetable oil brushed on the cut peaches helps keep them from sticking to the grill.
- Mascarpone is a soft, rich Italian cream cheese with a very high percentage of butterfat. If you've ever had a traditional tiramisu or cannoli, you've eaten mascarpone! There's a reason peaches and cream are so good together; mascarpone has the perfect creamy flavor to pair with sweetly acidic peaches.
- Greek yogurt helps cut the richness and loosen the consistency of the mascarpone. The fat percentage of the Greek yogurt isn't critical here - use whatever you like!
- Honey adds sweetness and thins the consistency of the mascarpone cream.
- Vanilla extract adds additional flavor.
- Almond extract (optional) adds another layer of flavor to the creamy mascarpone. Almond is a wonderful flavor combination with peach. If you don't enjoy the flavor, feel free to omit.
- Thyme (optional garnish) - A sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves adds a bit of color.
- Amaretti cookies (optional) I like to crumble amaretti cookies onto the peaches and mascarpone for an added element of texture, crunch and flavor. These crispy little Italian cookies are made from ground almonds and egg whites. They have a very pronounced amaretto flavor, which comes from either bitter almond or almond extract, depending on your source. I highly recommend them! I purchased them at a local specialty store that carries all sorts of international foods.
See recipe card for quantities.
Learn how to grill peaches with mascarpone:
Preheat the grill for 15 minutes to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius). If you don't have a temperature gauge on your barbecue, refer to this helpful post on judging the temperature of your grill.
Make the mascarpone cream while the grill is warming up.
In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt, honey, vanilla and almond extracts.
Whisk until fully combined.
Add mascarpone and mix gently until incorporated. Don't overmix; mascarpone has a tendency to turn grainy if it's mixed too much.
Set aside (if longer than 15 minutes, refrigerate until ready to serve).
Wash and dry the peaches.
Run a paring knife around the circumference of the peach along the crease (as you would when opening an avocado).
Twist each half of the peach in opposite directions to separate the halves. If pit is loose, remove with your fingers. If not, use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out the pit.
Brush the cut side of each peach half with oil. Place cut side down on the grill for 4-5 minutes, or until grill marks form and little bubbles begin to appear at the edges of the fruit.
Carefully remove peaches from grill and place cut side up onto a platter to retain the juices. Peaches will continue to soften after being removed from the grill.
Divide the mascarpone cream between 6 wide, low bowls. Place two grilled peaches, cut side up, in each bowl.
Drizzle with honey and roughly crumble 2 amaretti cookies over the top of each serving. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves. Serve immediately.
- Peaches - Nectarines are the closest substitution for peaches. Alternatively, you can also replace them with apricots or plums. The flavors will be different, but still delicious! Due to their smaller size, apricots and plums will likely require less time on the grill. Figs would also be an excellent substitute.
- Honey - If you want to substitute the honey, feel free to replace with maple syrup or brown sugar.
- Mascarpone cheese - You can substitute the mascarpone with creme fraiche or full fat Greek yogurt. If you are looking for a vegan or dairy free substitute, substitute both the mascarpone cheese and Greek yogurt with coconut cream.
- Amaretti - Amaretti are a crispy Italian cookie made with ground almonds and egg whites. They are traditionally made with bitter almonds, but often now made with almond extract. They're definitely a specialty item, so if you prefer, feel free to omit or replace with crumbled biscotti, ginger cookies or even a sprinkle of your favorite granola.
One of the great things about these grilled peaches is how flexible they are. Easily make a few small ingredient adjustments and you've got a whole new flavor combination! If you are looking for variety in what to put on grilled peaches, here are a range of options:
- Sweet balsamic - After grilling, plate with honey mascarpone cream and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
- Boozy - Add 30 ml (2 Tablespoons) either rum, bourbon or amaretto liqueur to honey. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Drizzle onto grilled peaches.
- Spiced - Stir 1 teaspoon of cinnamon into 60 mL (¼ cup) honey and drizzle over grilled peaches. Or if desired, use 1 teaspoon of a warming spice mix that contains a combination of spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and cardamom.
- Hot honey - In a small saucepan, bring 60 mL (¼ cup) honey and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes to a simmer. Remove from heat and add ¾ teaspoon apple cider vinegar. Serve grilled peaches with honey for a spicy kick!
- Blue cheese and nuts - Grill the peaches per the instructions, but sprinkle with creamy blue cheese crumbles and nuts (try walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans) instead of mascarpone (or in addition - hey, why not!?) Drizzle with honey.
- With ice cream - Grill the peaches per the instructions, but top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream instead of mascarpone. Or try more unique ice cream flavors! You could make lemon mascarpone ice cream and simply omit the currant swirl, or try this honey blackberry mascarpone ice cream.
- With Greek yogurt - For a lighter take on this recipe, replace the mascarpone with thick and tangy unsweetened Greek yogurt.
- With burrata - Burrata is an Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. It has a solid outside and a creamy, soft center. Omit the mascarpone cream and pair the grilled peaches with a ball of tender burrata.
Savory Grilled Peaches
This peach and mascarpone dessert can also go savory!
For savory grilled peaches, omit the honey from the recipe. Add a pinch of salt to the mascarpone cream, and top with fresh herbs such as basil, thyme or rosemary. Drizzle with a bit of balsamic vinegar.
What to serve with grilled peaches to make a meal? Juicy char grilled peaches would be delicious with most grilled meats, such as pork tenderloin, flank steak, chicken or pork chops.
The smoky flavor of grilled peaches makes an excellent addition to summer salads. Consider adding grilled peaches to a caprese salad, or an Italian bread salad (panzanella).
Alternate Cooking Method (No Grill)
To grill peaches without a grill indoors, use a grill pan on a stove. Preheat the grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the peaches with a bit of oil. Place the peaches cut-side down on the grill, and cook for 5-8 minutes, until grill marks appear and peaches are softened.
You can also use a flat cast iron pan - your peaches just won't have the grill marks.
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Basting brush - A small silicone basting brush is easy to clean. Anything that can go in the dishwasher is a winner for me!
Tongs - These 16 inch stainless steel OXO tongs are great for placing food on a hot barbecue. I use the smaller 9 inch and 12 inch OXO tongs with nylon ends in my kitchen daily to sautee vegetables, as salad tongs, and to serve all kinds of foods at the table.
Metal spatula - a heavy duty metal spatula with a beveled edge will help you get the peaches off the grill without them sticking, keeping those grill marks intact! When it's time to remove the peaches, slide the spatula firmly under the peach in the same direction the grill grates run.
These bbq peaches are best when made fresh and served warm.
If you have leftovers, store the peaches separate from the mascarpone cream in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. For best results, warm peaches back up prior to serving.
I don't recommend freezing grilled peaches. They're so delicious, I doubt you'll have that many leftovers! If you do have extras, you can always use them in smoothies, serve them over yogurt, or in one of the other many variations listed here.
Start with a clean grill. Scrub the grill with a brush or scrub pad when warm to remove any grease or carbon residue.
Brush the peaches with oil! This will help prevent the peaches from sticking to the grates and will help you get those fun grill marks.
When grilling peaches, make sure the grill is well preheated so that the grill grates are HOT. A cold grill could lead to stuck food.
Freestone yellow peaches are best for this recipe. Freestone peaches, or cling free peaches, have a stone (pit) that is loose and easy to separate from the flesh. Cling peaches, or clingstone peaches, are better left for recipes where the flesh will be cut away from the stone, such as canned peaches.
How to tell the difference? Clingstone peaches are the first peaches to ripen in the summer, from mid-May through early June. Late summer freestone peaches ripen mid-July through August and are the best option for this recipe. The majority of peaches you'll find at the grocery store are freestone peaches.
Yellow peaches are a good fit as they have the perfect balance of acidic flavor and sugary sweetness. White peaches have more natural sugars and can burn more easily.
Your peaches should be ripe, but firm. If they are too soft, they will collapse under the heat. Too ripe, and the additional sugars might also cause them to burn.
I find it easier to grill peaches with the skin on. It provides extra structure and makes it easier to pick the peaches up using tongs. Peeled peaches are slippery! If you don't enjoy eating peach peel, it's very easy to remove (or avoid eating) as the peel loosens considerably when cooked.
While it IS possible to grill canned or jarred peaches, I don't recommend it. Canned and jarred peaches have already been cooked, so they'll be soft before they even reach the grill. They also don't develop grill marks the same way fresh peaches do.
Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone CreamPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 6 peaches, ripe but firm freestone, yellow
- 60 mL (¼ cup) honey
- 1 Tablespoon neutral oil, to brush on cut peaches
Honey Mascarpone Cream
- 226 grams (8 ounces, 1 cup) mascarpone cheese
- 226 grams (1 cup) Greek yogurt
- 60 mL (¼ cup) honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- ½ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 12-18 small crispy amaretti cookies, for garnish (optional)
- 3 sprigs thyme leaves, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to 450 degrees (high temperature), approximately 15 minutes. If using charcoal, cook over a dying charcoal fire. (If you don't have a temperature gauge, you should be able to hold your hand 1-2 inches over the grill grates for just 1-2 seconds at this temperature.)
Honey Mascarpone Cream
- In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt, honey, vanilla and almond extracts. Whisk until fully combined. Add mascarpone and mix gently until incorporated. Set aside (if longer than 15 minutes, refrigerate until ready to serve).
- Wash and dry the peaches.
- Run a paring knife around the circumference of the peach along the crease (as you would when opening an avocado). Twist each half of the peach in opposite directions to separate the halves. If pit is loose, remove with your fingers. If not, use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out the pit.
- Brush the cut side of each peach half with oil. Place cut side down on the grill for 4-5 minutes, or until grill marks form and little bubbles begin to appear at the edges of the fruit.
- Carefully remove peaches from grill and place cut side up onto a platter to retain the juices. Peaches will continue to soften after being removed from the grill.
- Divide the mascarpone cream between 6 wide, low bowls. Place two grilled peach halves, cut side up, in each bowl. Drizzle with honey and roughly crumble 2 to 3 amaretti cookies over the top of each. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves. Serve immediately.
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