Basil Berries With Peaches and Cream 8.000
Aug 24, 2009

These berries can also be served warm or cold over ice cream or pound cake.

Servings: 8
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups raspberry dessert wine, such as bonny doon framboise california dessert wine
  • 2 cups raspberries, mixed red and yellow
  • 1 cup Thai basil leaves, torn into smaller pieces; plus 8 sprigs, for garnish
  • 4 peaches, peeled and cut in half, pits removed
  • 1 pint frozen yogurt or ice cream


Prepare the grill. If using a gas grill, preheat the grill to medium high. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 6 or 7 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames. Lightly coat the grill rack with oil and place it on the grill.

Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a small, sharp knife, placing them in a medium bowl. Save the pod for future use (wrap in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and freeze). Add the sugar and cornstarch to the bowl, and combine. This is easiest to do with your hands, massaging the seeds with your fingers to mix.

Place the raspberry dessert wine and 1/4 cup of the raspberries in a small nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Heat until small bubbles appear at the edges of the pan, then cook without boiling for 2 minutes. Place the uncooked berries in a separate medium bowl, first reserving 8 of them for a garnish. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked berries to the bowl.

Gradually whisk the hot liquid from the pan into the sugar mixture until combined, then pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Add the basil leaves and whisk while bringing the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook without boiling for 3 minutes. Continue whisking to combine and to keep the liquid from sticking to the bottom of the pan. After 3 minutes, the liquid should have the consistency of melted Jell-O. Place a strainer over the berries in the bowl and pour the hot Framboise mixture over them. Stir to combine.

Place the peach halves on the grill cut side down for 2 to 5 minutes, until the fruit is warm and the flat edges begin to brown. (The cooking time will depend on the temperature of the grill.) Place ech peach half on a plate and top with a scoop of yogurt or ice cream. Top with the basil-berry sauce; top each portion with a fresh berry and a basil sprig.

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Recipe Source

From Cindy Brown at Green Spring Farm in Alexandria.

Tested by Cindy Brown.

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