ROASTED NECTARINE SUNDAE WITH CARAMEL SAUCE AND TOASTED PECANS
4 whole nectarines, firm but ripe, halved and pitted (any stone fruit works here)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 pint vanilla bean ice cream
½ cup caramel sauce (see recipe below)
½ cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
Nectarines: Preheat oven to 400°. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish and place the fruit in, cut side up. Dot the fruit with bits of butter, sprinkle with brown sugar and top with a small pinch of salt. Roast until fruit is just tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes depending on ripeness and size.
Caramel sauce: Combine 1½ cups white sugar and ¼ cup water in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking, without stirring, until the syrup is a dark golden color. You can swirl the pan gently to ensure even cooking if some spots darken faster than others. Remove pan from heat and slowly and carefully add ¾ cup heavy cream and 6 tablespoons butter. The mixture will bubble up quickly at this point so be sure your pan is big enough. Stir to combine and let sit for a few minutes to thicken. Cooled sauce can be kept, refrigerated, for up to 1 month. Warm gently before using.
Serve: Scoop ice cream into four cold serving bowls. When the fruit is done, cut each half in half again and top each bowl with four pieces of roasted fruit. Combine any juices in the pan with your caramel sauce and drizzle over the top of the ice cream. Sprinkle with pecans and enjoy. Summer in a bowl!