My husband and I got our first grill when we were living in our second apartment. We had both just graduated from college and upgraded to a nicer place that had an outdoor entrance and even a small patio. When the maintenance guy gave us the tour of the new apartment, he explained to us that it was definitely against the fire code and our leasing agreement to have a grill, and we should under no circumstances use one on our patio. Wink.
For Christmas that year, my mother-in-law got us a miniature grill and we set up shop. I peered out at my husband from the warmth of our living room while he, wearing my UGG boots, very discretely crouched over the tiny grill to make us sweet potatoes for dinner.
Once we bought our house, I urged him to get a grill that did not require that he do squats in order to flip our burgers, but he insisted the mini grill was just fine. Since I know better (obviously), I bought him a full-size grill this past Christmas. I even threw in a smoker attachment to sweeten the deal. We waited several extremely long and snowy months, yearning for a warm day and the smell of charcoal. When the last of winter finally melted away, we unboxed his gift.
With the coals still hot and our bellies full from our inaugural grilled meal, I asked if we could toss some bananas on the grill to make a sundae for dessert. Minutes later, my husband arrived in the kitchen with a plate of slightly blackened bananas. We threw on some ice cream (because there is practically always ice cream in this house), I whipped up some cream, and the two of us began scrounging around the kitchen for other toppings.
On went maraschino cherries, caramel sauce, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, granola, coconut flakes, sprinkles, etc. (When you’re a food blogger, you have a lot of suitable dessert toppings in your pantry at any given time.) Whatever one of us would find, the other would exclaim, “Oh! Give me that!” until the ice cream in our bowls was barely visible beneath the mountain of accoutrements we had added.
With this sundae, I wanted to get the grill involved again. I tried to take a slightly more measured approach, but found that the no-holds-barred spirit of sundae-making was too strong. It began as a simple sundae with grilled peaches, blackberry swirl ice cream, whipped cream, and salted caramel sauce. That’s enough, I thought. But my husband and I had smoked ribs and made cornbread for dinner that night, and all that extra cornbread was just sitting there. It was practically screaming, “Put ice cream on top of me!” And I am not one to deny cornbread its dying wish.
So go ahead: embrace summer fruit, summer grilling, and definitely summer cornbread. This rustic, messy sundae is a blast to put together and will make you feel like a Southerner even if you’ve never been south of the Mason-Dixon line. No one will fault you if you can’t resist the urge to sprinkle some nuts on at the end, just because you have them lying around. Even the most sophisticated sundae connoisseurs have fallen prey to gilding the lily now and then.
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 ripe peaches
- ½ pan cornbread (recipe follows)
- 2 pints vanilla or berry-flavored ice cream (I used my homemade Blackberry Swirl Ice Cream)
- Smucker's Simple Delight Salted Caramel Ice Cream Topping, warmed
- 1 cup (140 grams) cornmeal
- 1 cup (140 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- ⅔ cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine heavy cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat with a mixer or a whisk until soft peaks form. Set bowl in the refrigerator to keep cool.
- Slice each peach in half. Remove the pits and slice each half into 4 wedges. You should have 24 total wedges. Place peach wedges, cut side down, on a hot grill (or in a hot grill pan coated with butter). Grill for 1 minute, until slightly soft and grill lines appear. Turn the peaches with tongs and grill for another minute on the other cut side. Remove peaches from the grill/pan and let cool slightly.
- Cut cornbread into 6 large squares. Top each cornbread square with ice cream. Place four grilled peach wedges onto each sundae. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and drizzle generously with Smucker's Simple Delight Salted Caramel Ice Cream Topping.
- Place your oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a 9x9-inch pan (or use Cake Magic).
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well with a wooden spoon and crack the eggs into the well. Break the egg yolks and stir gently for a few strokes. Add buttermilk and milk and stir until almost combined. Add the butter and stir for a few more strokes until just combined (there should be some lumps; don't overmix).
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Bake until the top is golden brown and the edges have started to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before using in the sundae.