Have you ever heard of Cotton Candy grapes? If not, I strongly suggest you keep an eye out for them the next time you are at the grocery store. Up until this past Saturday I hadn’t heard of them either, but, now that I have tried them, it is going to be hard to imagine life without them. While they look like your typical green grape on the outside, one bite and your taste buds will be convinced that you are at a carnival eating hot-pink sugar swirled onto a stick.
Cotton Candy grapes are the brainchild of horticulturist David Cain, of Bakersfield, California. He and his team at International Fruit Genetics came up with this natural hybrid by experimenting with different types of grape species. Their goal was simple: bring flavor back to grapes. Using simple, old-fashioned science with no chemicals or genetic modifications the results are incredible. The flavor is pure and sweet with none of the tartness you typically associate with grapes.
After taste-testing in the store, I had to buy a bag. But what to do with them? It was hard not to sit in the car and finish them all on the way home. Since I love how roasting grapes brings our a whole new layer of flavor and sweetness I thought it would be fun to add them to a dessert. Mixed with roasted peaches, whipped cream and puff pastry shells, these Cotton Candy and Peach Napoleons will melt in your mouth and have you coming back for more!
To roast the fruit, wash and core 2 large peaches. You want to pieces that are about 1/2″ thick and then cut in half. You will also need 2 cups of washed Cotton Candy grapes. Preheat oven to 400°F and place fruit in large oven-safe dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and roast for 30 minutes, turning once. Set fruit aside to cool completely while you prepare the puff pastry shells.
Take a prepared puff pastry sheet and follow manufacturers instructions to thaw. Once thawed, lay a single layer of parchment paper on a baking sheet and lightly dust with flour. Unfold the pastry sheet and cut into 3 inch squares. Gently prick the pastry with a fork, then spread a thin layer of butter on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 15 minutes at 400°F. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Once cooled, use a sharp knife to slice each pastry into 3 layers. Be careful while doing this. The pastry is flaky and will fall apart. Place the bottom layer on a desert plate and create a base for the fruit by spreading a thick layer of freshly-whipped cream. Lay the peaches down first, then fill in all the open holes with grapes. Make sure that your fruit is cooled down completely so it does not melt the whipped cream.