The Fort Recipe: Colorado Peach Flambe
(Excerpted from Proprietress Holly Arnold Kinney’s “Shinin’ Times at The Fort”)
It’s peach season and there’s no better way to enjoy these sweet local fruits than with a peach flambé. Traditionally, this fiery dessert is set alight with rum, but The Fort has always used Scotch whiskey, and no one has complained! It’s a lovely summertime treat when the Colorado peaches are ripe and juicy, and it’s even better if you have homemade vanilla ice cream. It’s a dessert with history, too, since the story goes that Thomas Jefferson learned of it on one of his trips to France and introduced it to this country.
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ c. sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
4 ripe peaches, peeled, halved and pitted
¼ c. high-proof Scotch whiskey
Vanilla ice cream
In a skillet or sauté pan, combine the butter, sugar and cinnamon. Place over low heat just until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.
Add the peach halves cut side down and bring the heat up to medium-low. Cover and let simmer for 4-5 minutes until tender when pierced with a knife.
Turn the peaches over and continue to simmer uncovered for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the Scotch to the pan and let warm for 10 second.
Carefully ignite the whiskey and let the flames die out naturally.
To serve: Place 2 peach halves in each bowl on top of a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle with the remaining syrup. Serve immediately.
Tips on flambéing
Pay attention to the bananas, cherries, peaches or anything else you set afire by dousing it with alcohol—the flames can get quite high! This is dramatic to be sure, but the flames might lick over anything flammable in the vicinity and cause some trouble, so don’t wear floppy sleeves and pull back long hair. When the initial flame subsides, a small blue flame will continue to burn for several seconds. This is when you should rotate the pan to expose the fruit to any more alcohol that might ignite and burn off. The goal is to keep the blue flame alive for as long as possible to caramelize the sugars in the alcohol, reduce any raw alcohol flavor and entertain your guests.
Disclaimer: Flambe-ing any fruits or meats in a pan is your sole responsibility to adhere to safety procedures, including knowledge of how to use a fire extinguisher near the cooking space.