By Paige Rhodes

It can be difficult to decide what to make for a date night dessert. You don’t want anything too heavy, but you also want to show off some of your culinary skills. Lucky for you, there are few things better than a warm piece of fruit straight from the oven with a big scoop of ice cream on top.

The contrast of hot and cold is the textbook definition of comfort food. Include a splash of bourbon and you have the perfect end to a wonderful evening. Plus, the hot fruit turns some of the ice cream into a sauce that mixes with the warm bourbon and is enough to make your mouth water. If you don’t feel like turning on your oven you can use a grill instead.

Photos by Paige Rhodes 

2 ripe nectarines
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground cardamom

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is preheating, slice the nectarines in half, scooping out the pit. Using a fork, make several punctures in each half to allow the bourbon to soak in. Place all four halves in a small baking dish, cut side up.

Combine bourbon and vanilla in a measuring cup and pour into the cavities of the nectarines, allowing the liquid to pool where the pit was. If there is any excess liquid, pour it around the nectarines in the baking dish.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. While the fruit is in the oven, combine the sugar and cardamom to sprinkle on top.

When the nectarines are finished in the oven, sprinkle the tops generously with the cardamom sugar. Using a culinary torch, brulée the sugar on top of the nectarines until golden brown and solid.

Alternatively, you can turn your oven to broil and place the fruit under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Just make sure you do NOT take your eyes off of them as they can burn quickly.

Serve warm with a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream and a spoonful of the warm vanilla bourbon leftover in the bottom of the baking dish.

Yields: 2 servings

See more recipes from Paige Rhodes here.