In this recipe, the peaches get a brushing of maple syrup seasoned with Chinese five-spice powder, then are baked in a moderately hot oven. The fruit emerges fragrant and shining, retaining its shape but supple enough to give way to a spoon. The granola is marginally sweet yet doesn’t seem at all meager. The oats are made glistening with a thin, mapled, sesame seed-studded shellac. The seeds break up the texture of the oats and their flavor is surprisingly and satisfactorily pronounced. This approach can be adapted to any manner of stone fruits and is special enough to make the move to after-dinner and dessert consideration. If possible, make the granola the night before, then the next day you’re already ahead of the game.–Tara O’Brady

How To Make Game-Changing Granola At Home

There’s something indescribably lovely about the role five-spice powder plays in this roast peach recipe. Not to be outdone, the accompanying easy granola recipe is seriously the simplest yet loveliest granola we’ve ever made. Slightly sweet, crunchy, perfectly nutty, and not overwrought with everything but the kitchen sink, it lends just the right note to these roast peaches day or night. We like to think of it as the culinary equivalent of our fave day-to-night outfit—and we consider it just as indispensable. Speaking of indispensable, that’s pretty much how we feel about Seven Spoons, the cookbook in which we found this recipe. So much so that it’s one of our favorite cookbooks of the year.

A white bowl of roast peaches topped with an easy granola of oats and almonds, Greek yogurt underneath.

Roast Peaches with Easy Granola

5 / 2 votes
These roast peaches are first brushed with maple syrup, brown sugar, and Chinese five spice powder and then coaxed to caramelization in the oven. They’re served with an easy homemade granola and Greek yogurt. A perfect summer breakfast, lunch, or snack.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories696 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes


For the granola

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup mild olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, (either raw or toasted)

For the roast peaches

  • 4 firm but ripe peaches, halved and pitted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder, (this is potent stuff so start with the lesser amount and add more to taste)
  • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • Greek-style or regular plain yogurt, fresh ricotta, or vanilla ice cream


Prepare the oven and pans

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Make the granola

  • In a large bowl, stir together the maple syrup, brown sugar, olive oil, water, and salt. Fold the oats, almonds, and sesame seeds into the syrup mixture and stir until completely coated. Turn the granola mixture onto a prepared baking sheet, patting it into an even layer. Bake until the oats are golden and lightly toasted, stirring the oats and rotating the pan every 5 minutes or so, just until the oats begin to turn golden, 15 to 20 minutes total. (Watch the granola carefully as it can go from almost done to scorched in seconds.) Let the granola cool on the baking sheet for at least 20 minutes before breaking it into clumps. (You can store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to several days.)

Make the roast peaches

  • Arrange the halved peaches on the second prepared baking sheet, cut sides up, making certain there’s space in between them. (If the peaches cuddle up too close to one another, they’ll steam and turn soggy rather than roast and become nicely caramelized.)
  • Grab a small bowl and mix together the maple syrup, five-spice powder, and vanilla seeds or paste. Brush the peaches with about half the mixture, letting it drip into the hollow left by the pit. Bake the peaches until they look soft but not mushy, juicily bursting, and singed at the edges, 15 to 25 minutes, depending on just how ripe the peaches are.
  • Remove the pan of peaches from the oven and let 'em cool a few minutes before serving with a handful of granola, the rest of the spiced maple syrup, and a generous dollop of yogurt, ricotta, or ice cream. Eat straightaway while warm, cooled to room temperature, or chilled just enough that the peaches are cold but the juices still sorta runny.
Seven Spoons Cookbook

Adapted From

Seven Spoons

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 696 kcalCarbohydrates: 83 gProtein: 16 gFat: 37 gSaturated Fat: 14 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7 gMonounsaturated Fat: 13 gTrans Fat: 1 gSodium: 154 mgPotassium: 798 mgFiber: 12 gSugar: 38 gVitamin A: 491 IUVitamin C: 10 mgCalcium: 244 mgIron: 5 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2015 Tara O’Brady. Photo © 2015 Tara O’Brady. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I loved these roast peaches. I was sold on the easy granola alone. The coconut oil, which I highly recommend using, in combination with the sesame seeds gave the oats a unique twist, and there was just the right level of crunch.

I swapped the Chinese five-spice powder for a little nutmeg because I didn’t want to buy a whole jar of spice just for this recipe. My peaches were quite ripe, so they cooked quickly—I’d say in about 15 minutes; if your peaches are underripe, I’d give them a little more time in the oven. The maple glaze was delicious, although with ripe fruit you may not even need it.

If peaches are in season, I’d eat this dish with just the granola and a dollop of ice cream. I‘d also try substituting other fruit, such as plums or apples, depending on the season. And be sure not to skip the vanilla seeds. We tried this two ways: first with vanilla ice cream then with a dollop of ricotta cheese. Both were delicious, so if you feel like justifying this recipe as breakfast, go for ricotta cheese or Greek yogurt. If you’re feeling decadent, go for the ice cream.

Once peaches start to arrive in summer, the trick for me is to find simple, not-too-sweet preparations and to not eat all the peaches before they even make it to a recipe. I scored a basket of organic Masumoto peaches from the Central Valley at the farmers market, and this roast peaches showcased them beautifully.

Since roasting brings out so much flavor, the fruit had just the right amount of sweetness. If you have access to heirloom peaches, make this recipe at least once this season. The Chinese five-spice powder was a really interesting complement to the peaches without being overwhelming.

I used organic, old-fashioned rolled oats, a Napa Valley olive oil, and white sesame seeds for the easy granola. The delicate glaze on the toasted oats kept them from being cloying and resulted in one of the best granola recipes I’ve ever made. If you have any granola left over, it makes a great breakfast cereal or topping for fruit and yogurt. Because only 2 peach halves were going to be eaten immediately, I skipped the broiler suggestion and just used a small kitchen torch to finish the top and edges before plating. The leftovers didn’t get this treatment because they were polished off before I remembered to broil them. Darn. Guess I’ll just have to make more!

This recipe is perfectly scalable for summer, whether you’re cooking for 2 or for a crowd. There’s also no stress involved since you can make it all ahead and serve it at room temperature, warm from the oven, or even cold the next day (I still found the flavors to be well-pronounced).

The recipe was equally lovely with ricotta and yogurt, and I think it would work well with other stone fruit (it’s probably best if the pit pulls away nicely, so the recipe would be a bit trickier with plums and dead easy with apricots). However, the peach is the perfect serving size, and if you serve half per person, no one will be able to resist. Truth be told, these are an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10!

These roast peaches had the perfect touch of sugar and spice from the maple syrup and Chinese five-spice powder, and they were heavenly both warm and cold. They were soft but not mushy after 25 minutes in the oven. The skin made eating a bit spoon-unfriendly, so I’d consider peeling the peaches the next time I make this.

The easy granola was easy (about 10 minutes hands-on time) and had just the right amount of sweetness and crunch. I loved the high ratio of sesame seeds and added a bit of ground ginger for depth of flavor. Plating-wise, I topped a thin slice of pound cake with 2% Greek yogurt, a peach half, and a sprinkling of granola. For a reasonably healthy dessert, this tasted very sinful!

This recipe really doesn’t need the roast peaches to merit a TC from me. The easy granola alone is enough for the distinction. Many granola preparations are too sweet and cloying. Not this one. This uses sugar judiciously to make a lovely, crunchy treat. Add some sesame seeds, and you’ve got yourself a very balanced topping for roast peaches, yogurt, or ice cream.

I made the granola part of the recipe twice, and the batches always disappeared in no time. I wouldn’t use Chinese five-spice powder again in the peaches, as I found it to be too overpowering. I’d rather use a touch of cinnamon or just stick with the vanilla.

Watch the granola in the oven like a hawk, stirring it about every 5 minutes, and take it out when the oats start to color, as these kinds of things will burn in an instant. Lastly, it’s much more convenient to make the granola using a scale, so I’d go metric on this one.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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