Photo by kthread

Photo by kthread

You know how  memories can sometimes be triggered by certain smells and distinct aromas?

The smell of freshly fallen  rain hitting hot asphalt is reminiscent of playing hide-and-go-seek with my older brothers and the neighborhood generation Y ~ running through our backyard until we heard the call that it was bed, bath or dinner time.

The sweet lingering smell of honeysuckle flowers brings back memories of my bedroom in our old house as the honeysuckle vine used to grow along  the side of the wall and almost come creeping through my window.

Peach flower photo by strollers

And nothing speaks volumes of summer more than the smell of succulent juicy peaches, ripe and tender, dangling from the tree patiently waiting to be plucked and devoured.

I’m taken back to beautiful memories of running through the peach orchard, picking as many of these wondrous fruit as my little plastic bucket could carry whilst constantly wiping away the peach juice dripping down my chin as I scoffed the warm golden globes.

Peaches  when in abundance  were treated in only a few ways in my household. They were left to eat as is, fuzz tickling the back of your throat, or they were preserved in heavy syrup for leaner times.

As I’ve grown into my chefs jacket, I’ve had the great fortune of being able to experiment with this delightful stone fruit and have given you a couple of my favorite ways with this summery sensation.

Photo by mccun934

Grilled peach crumbs with mascarpone and balsamic syrup

Ingredients:

2 large firm peaches ~ stoned and sliced in half

4 Tbs brown sugar

4 tsp butter ~ chilled

4 Tbs white flour

4 Tbs mascarpone

Balsamic glaze

Fresh mint leaves

Procedure:

  • Make the crumb topping by mixing together the flour and brown sugar and rubbing the chilled butter in with your fingertips
  • Lay the peach halves on a roasting tray and top with crumb mixture.
  • Grill for 15-20 minutes on medium to high until the peach is tender and the crumb topping is golden and crisp.
  • Lay two peach halves per plate and top with a dollop of mascarpone and a drizzle of balsamic syrup. Garnish with a few mint leaves and serve.

Serves 2 as dessert

photo by jules:stonesoup

Poached Peaches with honeyed chestnut cream and sticky meringue

Ingredients:

2 firm peaches ~ halved and stoned

¼ cup of chestnut puree

1- 2 Tbs of dark liquid honey

¼ cup of thickened cream

2 soft meringues ~ broken into pieces

1 liter of sugar syrup

Cinnamon sticks

Star anise

½ Vanilla pod ~ scraped

Procedure:

  • Poach the peaches gently in the sugar syrup with a few cinnamon sticks, star anise and the vanilla pod until the peach is tender, but still in tact. This should take approx 20 minutes.
  • Cool the peach slightly.
  • Sweeten the chestnut puree by mixing into it 1 Tbs of the dark honey.
  • Assemble the dessert by stacking peach, meringue, cream and chestnut puree into a wine glass or small glass bowl ~ remembering to watch the layers as you assemble so that the dessert looks appealing in its glass confines. Finish with a small drizzle of honey, a cinnamon stick and vanilla pod.

Serves 2 as dessert

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With 20+ years working in commercial kitchens, I’m here to share with you some of the best secrets of the trade to help you cook better, faster and to eat well. You will surprise a lot of family & friends when you give some of my recipes a try.

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