Monday, July 11, 2011

Lakeside Dessert: Nectarines with Grand Marnier Chantilly Cream

::edited to include recipe at the bottom::  

I've recently returned from a whirl-wind trip to visit my boyfriend, then my family in ND.  Any summertime trip MUST include a trip to my family's lake cabin, which was built by my grandparents & great-grandparents in the 1950s.

The cabin truly is a cabin (none of this "Lake Home" grandeur) .  Three small bedrooms (where we sleep 7 total), a kitchen with a 1930s (we think) stove/non-working oven, no dishwasher, a shower where military-style showers are taken, the craaaziest carpet I've ever seen (see above), and a lovely lovely screened in porch that faces the lake.

I never realized until the past couple of summers how much of a food styling/photographing dream the cabin kitchen is.  Any sort of cast-off dish, utensil, kitchen equipment piece that my family has discontinued using has somehow migrated to the lake.  I wanted to take everything home with me!  

On this particular trip, my mom brought an abundance of gorgeous nectarines.  I decided to turn the nectarines into dessert after a dinner of walleye, caught by my Grandpa "The Master Fisherman."  The nectarines were so lovely that I  just simply sliced them into a large bowl, allowing my family to serve themselves, and top the nectarines with whipped cream as they chose.

But, not just any whipped cream.... Grand Marnier whipped cream!  I bought a small bottle of Grand Marnier to take to the lake so that I could make my famous French Toast, but there was a little extra.  So, why not Grand marnier whipped cream?  I did actually use the old fashioned rotary whisk that belonged to my great grandma to make the whipped cream because I accidentally left my beloved OXO whisk in Texas!

As much as I love vanilla, I get a little tired of plain old vanilla whipped cream.  By changing out the flavoring to the hint of orange and cognac Grand Marnier brings, the whole flavor changed.  And it complimented the ripe nectarines beautifully.

The dessert was a hit! No leftovers at all is usually a good sign. Grandpa couldn't resist using his finger to get the last bit of nectarine juice and cream.  Typical grandpa!

I always make chantilly cream (sweetened whipped cream) to taste, sans recipe.  So, use these directions as "guidelines" and keep your tasting spoon(s) close! I also always make whipped cream by hand, but feel free to use your favorite mechanical mixer if you so desire.  I think making whipped cream by hand tastes better and gives you better control over the end product (i.e. less "overwhipped" grainy cream).

Heavy Whipping Cream
Granulated Sugar
Grand Marnier

1.  Place a large bowl (glass or metal preferable) and whisk in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.  Keep the heavy whipping cream in the fridge until just ready to use.

2.  Pour the cream into the frozen bowl.  Add some granulated sugar.  Begin whisking.  Once tracks begin to form (i.e. the cream thickens enough to show lines made by the whisk), taste and see if additional sugar is needed.  Continue whisking until soft peaks form.

3. Add Grand Marnier to taste.  Make sure to use enough to taste the Grand Marnier!  Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


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