This deceptively simple steamed dessert has only three ingredients — peaches, dates, and brown sugar. I wasn’t too excited about it at first because I like peaches raw and I’m not too fond of dates. Since I was steaming chicken for dinner and had some fresh peaches on hand anyway, I figured that I might as well pick up a handful of dates, barely remembering this recipe.
While sweating it out in my nifty aluminum steamer, the peaches predictably released a wonderful aroma. The results, however, far exceeded my expectations. The brown sugar melded nicely with the peaches, releasing its juices and creating a fragrant syrup. Plumping up through osmosis, the dates absorbed the peach nectar and transformed from a wrinkled cloying drupe to something I’m craving for right this moment.
recipe adapted from Eileen Yin-fei Lo’s The Chinese Kitchen
Steamed Peaches with Honey Dates
Mut Joh Jing Toh
makes 4 servings
4 peaches, ripe but firm
4 Chinese honey dates or any sweet varietal
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- There are a number of fillings you can use to replace the dates. Mangoes come to mind, but do try it with the dates first. It just works really well for some reason.
Slice off the tops of the peaches right where the pits begin, about 1/2 inch from the top. Using a grapefruit knife or a small teaspoon, core the peaches by running your implement of choice around the pit area.
Place the peaches in steam-proof bowls with high sides (such as ramekins). Place one date inside each cored peach. Fill to the top with brown sugar, about 1 1/2 tablespoons.
Peaches stuffed with honey dates and dark brown sugar
Place the bowls in a steamer and steam for 30 to 40 minutes or until the peaches have softened and released its juices. Some of the syrup is the result of steam condensation. Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap before steaming if this bothers you.
Serve warm or chilled.