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The first time I enjoyed this luscious treat, I was a little girl having lunch at the Governor's Mansion as Mrs. Long's guest of honor. I've never seen another recipe using graham crackers in place of the usual sponge cake or sweet biscuit. Although the original dish featured canned peaches in heavy syrup, I now prefer to use fresh peaches in season. Sometimes I whirl a few leaves of a sweet herb such as lemon balm, scented geranium, or pineapple sage in the blender with the sugar. When stirred into the peaches and allowed to rest in the refrigerator several hours or overnight, the herb imparts a subtle but distinct flavor to the juicy peaches. The lemon juice helps prevent darkening of the peaches.
2 cups sliced fresh peaches 1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar 1 lemon, juiced 1 large sprig of lemon balm or other sweet herb (optional) 1 cup heavy cream 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 6 graham crackers, broken to make 12 squares
Place sliced peaches in large bowl, toss with lemon juice, lemon balm, and sugar, adjusting the amount of sugar to the sweetness of the peaches. Place in refrigerator for two hours or more so flavors will marry. Just before serving, whip heavy cream with vanilla and set aside.
To assemble, break graham crackers in half, forming 12 squares. Place I square on each of 6 small plates. Spoon peaches over crackers, top each with a dollop of whipped cream. Repeat layers. Garnish with a sprig of lemon balm or other sweet herb, such as mint.
This recipe can easily be multiplied or divided. For an easy dessert bar for a crowd, set out big bowls of peaches, whipped cream, and a platter of graham crackers. Invite guests to build their own dessert. Enjoy!