Bourbon-Steamed Peaches

Keith Schroeder

High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet - Atlanta

“No one’s complaining about peaches, bourbon, and sugar,” says Cooking Light Mad Delicious author Keith Schroeder. Who are we to argue? While this recipe yields four servings, Schroeder calls for five peaches in case you commit a goof along the way. Cooking Light Mad Delicious took home the 2015 Focus on Health Book Award.

Excerpted from Cooking Light Mad Delicious (Oxmoor House). Copyright © 2014.


  • 5 ripe peaches
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Wash and dry the peaches. Score the bottoms of each peach with a 1 ⁄2-inch “X.”

In the pot that underlies your standard steamer configuration, combine the sugar, 2 cups water, bourbon, salt, and juice. Go ahead and throw the halved lemon in the syrup for a little bitter punctuation if you are so inclined; otherwise discard it. Bring the syrup to a full rolling boil. Place the peaches in the steamer basket, scored side up, and cover the steamer. Steam for 3 minutes, or until the peel starts to “open” up away from the score marks. Remove the steamer basket from the steamer configuration (leave the peaches in it), and set aside to cool for a few moments, until the peaches can be handled safely.

Back at the stove, the syrup should be rolling away at a boil (and some lovely peach juices should have dripped into it). Over medium-high heat, reduce the syrup 5 minutes, until it coats the back of a spoon and is about the consistency of real maple syrup at room temperature. Turn off the syrup and let it rest.

The peaches should be cool enough to peel. With clean hands, peel from the “X” toward the stem end of the peach. You should be able to remove the peel in 4 easy “fillets.” Using a paring knife, halve the peaches. Then tumble them in the syrup to coat.

Serve the peaches, slightly warm or at room temperature, with about 2 tablespoons of the reduced syrup.


4 servings