One of the most magical things about this time of year is the deliciously sweet fruit. Stone fruit, in particular, I always associate with these summer months: plums – the golden ones, the ones of a deep, almost regal purple hue, and the tiny plums with a faint green tint to their translucent skins which here in Venice we call ‘zucchine’. Then, there are the apricots and the peaches.
White peaches, juicy yellow peaches, and the flat Persian peaches – the kind that taste like sweet ambrosia.
Peaches are, I think, my favourite – I eat them by the punnet-ful as is for dessert with a glass of sweet wine; but I also use them a lot in cooking. I blend them and mix with prosecco to make bellinis; bake them in pies and cakes; or pan fry them and serve with a joint of roast veal. This way of cooking them, gently roasted in the oven with a knob of butter, is a go-to recipe of mine.
Exquisite served with a dollop of mascarpone cheese, or a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream – and forever linked, in my mind, with long and lazy dinners, sitting under the fig tree in our garden, indulging in the balmy heat of late summer.
Pesche al Burro
(Butter Roasted Peaches)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 35-40 mins
3 tbsps demerara sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Halve and stone the peaches, then lay them skin side down into a baking dish. Spoon a little of the butter into each peach, then sprinkle with the sugar, before setting in the oven for 35-40 mins until softened. Serve with clotted cream or rich gelato.