The season for succulent, scented Apricots, Peaches and Nectarines is now in full flow, and should be enjoyed now when they are ripest and glorious.
It’s worth selecting your stone fruit (and soft fruit) using your nose. When fruit is ripe, it should be well-scented and sweet without being overly soft, and this goes for melons as well.
If you do find yourself with some under-ripe peaches, the solution is to give them a grill as this releases and caramelises the natural sugars, and breaks them down to make them more juicy. Serve with crème fraîche or ice cream.
Otherwise, use ripe peaches and apricots in puddings such as peach cobbler, or as a summer Bellini, as created in Harry’s Bar, Venice.
To make a Bellini: take 2 peaches per person, remove the stone and thoroughly mash with a potato masher (including the skin). Then add the same quantity of chilled Prosecco to peach juice and serve.
Peach Cobbler or Crumble Recipe:
- 900g fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- 200g granulated sugar, divided
- 120g unsalted butter, melted
- 150g all-purpose flour
- 10g baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 240 ml milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5g cornstarch
- 240 ml boiling water
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
- In a mixing bowl, combine the sliced peaches and 100g of granulated sugar. Mix well and set aside to allow the peaches to release their juices.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining 100g of granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the melted butter, milk, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
- Grease a baking dish with butter and pour the batter into the dish.
- In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with a little water to create a paste. Add the paste to the peach mixture and mix well.
- Pour the mixture evenly into the battered baking dish. Do not stir.
- Bring the water to a boil and carefully pour over the top of the cobbler.
- Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cobbler is cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and let the peach cobbler cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.