Monday, September 13, 2010

Just in Time


In a previous post, I waxed lyrical about a lovely breakfast of peaches and cream, and bemoaned the fact that I had lost the recipe... I searched several websites, countless food blogs, and I couldn't find anything on plain peaches and cream: cobblers, slumps, and crumbles, they all sounded nice, but they weren't the stuff of my memories. So I bought some cream and a basket of peaches, and set to figure it out myself... Well, I feel sheepish now, but the reason I couldn't find the recipe is because there is none! This dessert couldn't be any simpler! I felt like hitting myself on the forehead, and shouting DUH!


Peaches and cream: the name says it all! Just in time to catch the tail end of Ontario's peach production; four, five at the very most, ingredients meld together into a harmonious taste sensation. It's an ephemeral treat, and should be eaten as soon as it is cool enough to do so: it will not stand on ceremony, nor will it wait around for anyone. It demands immediate attention: leave it sitting around too long, and its loveliness may flit away. The secret is in the crunchy topping: it is simply turbinado sugar (coarse sugar) caramelized onto the peaches. If you cannot find turbinado sugar, you can substitute regular sugar, but I would strongly advise adding the optional almond slivers to add crunch.


Warm Peaches and Cream
Serves 4 to 6

6 peaches
1 cup/ 250 mL heavy cream
¼ cup/ 100g turbinado sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup/ 125g slivered almonds, optional

Cut peaches in half. Remove pits. Place cut side down in a baking dish large enough to contain all the peaches without overlapping.
Mix vanilla extract with the cream, and pour over the peaches. The cream will not cover the peaches, but you need to make sure that every peach is dampened by the cream.
Crush the slivered almonds into the sugar, if using, and sprinkle each peach half with about a teaspoon of the mix.
Place baking dish in a cold oven, and heat to 350'F/ 180'C.
Bake beaches for 45 minutes from the moment your oven reaches the right temperature, then switch the broiler on to melt the sugar, about 5 minutes.
Serve immediately. 


The peaches do not need any other garnish, but if you must have more, something crunchy would be de rigueur: a shortbread cookie, crumble topping or crisp wafers.

Bon app'!




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