When you want an easy but special dessert that’s absolutely delicious and looks beautiful on the plate, Roasted Nectarines with Caramel Sauce is the perfect recipe. This is a favorite dessert for casual dinner parties, lunch with friends or any time you’re craving a simple, seasonal fruit dessert.
Love fresh fruit desserts? Try this Mini Strawberry Pies Recipe too!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Let’s get right to this recipe for Roasted Nectarines with Caramel Sauce, and I can’t wait to tell you about it. I stumbled upon it in The Gourmet Cookbook, and I admit, it’s a recipe I would normally have skipped right over, thinking it might be too fussy or just too simple to be any good.
What I discovered was a really delicious and accessible dessert using ripe summer fruit that’s SO worth passing along.
- Roasting fruit is an under-used technique, and why? It intensifies the flavor and makes fruit like nectarines fork-tender and fabulous.
- You’ll make a simple caramel sauce to spoon over the top of the nectarines, one that’s not cloyingly sweet thanks to pureed nectarine that get swirled in during cooking. This is an absolutely GENIUS step, and another reason this dessert is so special.
- Vanilla ice cream is practically mandatory for this roasted fruit recipe….don’t skip this step 🙂
Ingredients You’ll Need
There aren’t many ingredients in Roasted Nectarines with Caramel Sauce, and all are treated simply so the clean nectarine flavor really shines through:
- Butter: For smearing the inside of the baking dish so the nectarines don’t stick when roasting.
- Nectarines: Two pounds, which is roughly 7-8 nectarines that are about the size of a tennis ball. You’ll cut 6 of them in half, remove the pit and roast them. The rest get chopped, cooked down a bit, and pureed in a blender or food processor, then swirled into the caramel sauce.
- Salt: Just a little bit to really bring out the flavors.
- Sugar: You’ll need 3/4 cup sugar to melt over moderate heat
- Heavy Cream: For that silky texture
- Lemon juice: Just a teaspoon to brighten things up, it also keeps the sauce from being overly sweet
- Fresh Mint: The leaves are so pretty on the plate, how can you resist?
- Vanilla Ice Cream or Whipped Cream: Either will work, but a good quality vanilla bean ice cream is highly recommended 🙂
Tips for Making Caramel Sauce
Making caramel sauce at home may sound like a scary and hard process, but that’s definitely not the case in this recipe. You won’t need a candy thermometer or any special equipment to make this easy and really delicious caramel sauce.
Here’s what you do:
- Add the sugar to a medium sized non-stick saucepan.
- Heat the mixture in a heavy saucepan to melt the sugar over moderate heat while stirring it occasionally with a wooded spoon until it bubbles and turns a golden caramel color, around 4 minutes.
- Add the cream, lemon juice and the nectarine puree, and continue to stir with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
- Little warning! When you add the cream, lemon juice and nectarine puree, the caramel will harden and steam very quickly, and will get really lumpy too. DON’T WORRY. This is totally normal, so just continue to cook the mixture on medium heat, stirring until the lumps smooth out and so the mixture doesn’t burn, another few minutes.
- Cover and set aside to keep the sauce warm until ready to use.
This Roasted Nectarines with Caramel Sauce recipe isn’t complicated, and here’s how you make it:
- Pre-heat the oven to 375, then place the pitted nectarine halves in a glass baking dish that’s been smeared with a little butter to prevent sticking. Roast the fruit for 20 minutes, until soft but still firm.
- Chop the remaining nectarines into small pieces and cook them down in a saucepan using a wooden spoon to help crush the pieces of fruit. Cook until very soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
- Add the sugar over moderate heat to a non-stick saucepan and let it melt in the pan while you stir it occasionally. Cook until it becomes bubbly and golden, around 4 minutes. Add the cream, lemon juice and nectarine puree to the sugar and cook and stir until the lumps melt down and the mixture is syrupy, about 3 minutes on medium high heat.
- To serve, spoon a little caramel sauce on the plate and two roasted nectarine halves on top, ad a scoop of ice cream, a little more sauce, and serve!
- The fresh mint sprigs are optional, but adds to the pretty presentation!
Expert Tips and Serving Ideas
It’s really worth it to seek out the best organic nectarines you can get your hands on for this recipe. Often times you can even taste the fruit before you buy, especially at the Farmer’s Market.
This is a really nice dessert to serve after a dinner of Summer Pasta, or grilled chicken or fish with sides of Celery Salad with Hazelnuts, Modern Carrot Salad, Roasted Spring Vegetables with Vinaigrette or Blackberry Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely. You could also use ground chicken!
Sure can! Just cook the meat portion and keep it refrigerated up to 4 days before use. Prep the other ingredients and store in separate containers in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Yes, this would be just as good!
Yes, make the sauce up to 2 days ahead, store well-covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
More Recipes to Try
If you’ve tried Roasted Nectarines with Caramel Sauce, or any recipe on Studio Delicious, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Roasted Nectarines With Caramel Sauce
- 2 teaspoons Butter
- 2 pounds Nectarines, cut in half with pit removed
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
- Fresh Mint Leaves, for serving
- Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for serving
- Preheat Oven to 375, and prep the inside of a large glass baking dish by smearing it with the butter to prevent sticking.
- Place 12 of the nectarine halves in the prepared dish, cut side down in one layer, then place on the middle rack of the oven. Roast until soft but still firm, about 20 minutes.
- Chop the remaining nectarines into small (2") pieces, then place them in a non-stick skillet and cook over medium-low heat breaking them up as you stir with a wooden spoon. Cook until very soft, between 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor, add the salt, and puree until completely smooth.
- In a non-stick saucepan on medium-high heat, add the sugar and let it melt while stirring occassionally with a wooden spoon until it becomes bubbly and a golden caramel color, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cream, lemon juice and the nectarine puree, stirring with a wooden spoon. At this point, the caramel will harden and steam very quickly, and will be quite lumpy. Don't worry! Continue to cook on medium heat until the lumps smooth out, about 2-3 minutes, stirring to make sure the mixture doesn't burn, then cover and set aside to keep warm. To serve, place a generous teaspoon of the caramel sauce onto the bottom of a bowl or plate, then top with two nectarine halves.Add a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream, and top with more caramel sauce plus fresh mint springs for garnish.
- Buy organic nectarines if you can! 🙂
- Use about 2 tablespoons of caramel sauce per serving
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible
Source: This recipe’s photos and content were originally posted in July 2018, with content updated July, 2021. Recipe adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook