Grilled Bourbon-Pecan Peaches with Ricotta and Basil | culture: the word on cheese
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Grilled Bourbon-Pecan Peaches with Ricotta and Basil

Grilled Bourbon-Pecan Peaches with Ricotta and Basil

Chef Barry Maiden uses sorghum to sweeten the sauce for these peaches; the grain has been a staple in the Southern larder for generations. It adds a nutty depth that matches well with the bourbon and contrasts with the sweetness of the fruit. If you can’t find sorghum molasses, substitute a dark, smoky honey or maple syrup.
Servings 8


  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 stick 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sorghum molasses
  • 1 ounce bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 peaches halved and pitted
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 to 3 fresh basil leaves


  • Light a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat. When hot, place a medium-size saucepan on the grill away from the center. Add pecans and cook, stirring, until fragrant and lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Add sugar, sorghum, bourbon, and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 3 to 5 minutes until sauce has thickened slightly.
  • It will be dark and syrupy.
  • Brush peach halves with a thin layer of sauce and grill 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until peaches have softened and have grill marks. To serve, plate peaches cut side up, spoon ricotta over peaches, and drizzle with a spoonful of remaining pecan sauce (you may have leftover sauce). Garnish with basil and serve.
Photographed by Brian Samuels

Barry Maiden

Barry Maiden is the former chef and proprietor of Hungry Mother and State Park. He's looking ahead to his next venture.