C’bus is short for Columbus, OH and this week it played host, along with my dear friend Ray, to a wonderful evening of good food and even better company. The experience started with a trip to Columbus’ North Market for groceries. Big shout out to Lan Viet for her generous gift of Thai basil and to Ben and co. at North Market Spices for beautiful ground cardamom – I can’t wait to stop back and stock up before my return to DC!
These ingredients, along with fresh, ripe summer fruit, were the inspiration for our dessert: peaches and blueberries, macerated in sugar and cardamom and topped with Thai basil-infused, hand-whipped cream. The spicy, licorice-y Thai basil was pleasantly herbal, but chopping it finely with sugar covered the grassy flavor. The warm, bright cardamom brought out the rich sweetness of the peaches and acidity of the blueberries achieving perfect balance.
It was a simple finish to a spectacular evening. Thank you C’bus. It is always a pleasure.
Peaches and Blueberries with Thai Basil Whipped Cream
- 3 peaches, sliced*
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tbs sugar
- 2 tbs roughly chopped Thai basil
- 1-2 tbs sugar
- 2 cups heavy or whipping cream
*You can peel the peaches if you have a fuzzy texture issue, but that just seemed like a lot of work to me. You can slice as thin or thick as you like. Thin slices give each bite a better balance with the blueberries.
- Toss sliced peaches and blueberries together with cardamom and sugar. Let macerate in fridge for 30-45 minutes. If they don’t release any liquid after the first 15 minutes, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. How liquidy this gets depends on how juicy your fruit is. Just go with it.
- Sprinkle the roughly chopped basil with the sugar and chop together until the basil is broken down almost as finely as the sugar.
- Whisk the cream to soft peaks. Then whisk in the basil sugar.
- Serve the fruit topped with a generous dollop of cream. And by “dollop” I mean “giant spoonful.”