Baked peaches stuffed with Mascarpone and almonds with a rum syrup and fresh basil

August 19, 2010

 Baked peaches with mascarpone

Summer fruit is so good that I don’t normally recommend doing much with it but there’s something  a bit special about baked peaches so I tend to do them at least once over the summer. It’s normally Italian style with ameretto and cocoa and that always goes down a treat but I’ve been meaning to try something a bit different for ages. I’ve had a feeling about peach and basil for a while. It’s not something I made up, I’ve heard about it before but never tasted the two together.  I just knew it was going to be good and it was. Very!!!! They just work really well together. My first idea was to bake the peaches with mascarpone and almonds (can’t fail and didn’t – the mascarpone goes all crumbly and the almonds give a lovely chewiness) and then serve them with a kind of basil and rum pesto. Fancy huh? Well, it sorta worked but I wasn’t completely convinced plus the pesto bit looked none too appetizing on the plate. Mmm…

Last night I decided to try again and as luck would have it, the fridge needed clearing out (we’re off to Kerry for a week tomorrow) so I ended up cooking lots of different things for a pick and mix kind of dinner.  While all fires were  blazing I had  Dan and Auggie in the middle of it all supposedly shelling peas fished out from the back of the fridge but actually throwing them around the kitchen and having car races on the (wet) floor. Chaos. Not at all the peaceful environment I dream of having for coming up with new dishes.

Instead of waiting for a bit of peace after their bedtime I just decided to go for it and I made the mascarpone and almond filling for the peaches as before in between wrestling Auggie for the mixer (those toddlers are strong!) . I put the peaches in the oven while we ate dinner and at the last minute ditched to pesto idea and went for a glass of rum reduced with a little sugar which I poured over the baked peaches. The basil was finely shredded and topped the dish and…………it all worked really well. We all licked the plates clean. Highly recommended.

Baked peaches stuffed with mascarpone and almonds with a rum syrup and fresh basil (for 2-3 people)

You’ll need:

3 Peaches halved and stoned

200gr Mascarpone

3 heaped tablespoons ground almonds

3 tablespoons brown sugar (2 for the filling, 1 for the syrup)

1 cup dark rum

12-15 basil leaves

Beat the mascarpone, sugar and ground almonds together until mixed well. Lay out the peaches on a flat baking tray or a muffin tin as I did (this way they stay more compact, but the other one works fine as well. Divide the filling between the peaches and bake for 30 minutes at Gas 6 until golden.

When the peaches are done, bring a cup of rum to the boil with a tablespoon brown sugar. Turn down the heat a bit then simmer until the rum has reduced by half.

To serve, drizzle the peaches with the rum and top with shredded basil.

Our selections also include blueberries this week. I love these for breakfast on muesli or in pancakes. A while ago I made Nigel Slater’s midsummer cake with them. It’s got peaches and ground almonds too and as usual Nigel didn’t disappoint. Here’s the link if you’re interested

In other non dessert related news, I’ve got bunched onions from Marc Michel and they’re like a bunch of scallions and onion in one. Marc says he’s been eating them in omelettes a lot. The way he does it it’s like an onion tart without the pastry ie 80% onions cooked (with a little chorizo so you get that lovely oil) down but left with a little bite then stirred into beaten eggs and cooked as an omelette. Sounds pretty good to me.

We also have gorgeous baby spinach which is as tender as it gets. No need to cook it. Fry up a little chopped chorizo, throw it over the spinach leaves with a splash of red wine or sherry vinegar then top with a poached egg. Lunch heaven……..

Have a great weekend,


6 Responses to “Baked peaches stuffed with Mascarpone and almonds with a rum syrup and fresh basil”

  1. Dr. Asparticus Says:

    Used the bunched onions to make black pepper tofu last night… Another Ottolenghi recipe. Although some of his recipes have a lot of ingredients, they’re usually very easy to make, and taste fantastic! This one is no exception. Serve with sticky rice.

  2. Margaret Says:

    there is a sichuan salt and pepper tofu with green beans recipe on the blog from last summer

  3. Shona Says:

    These sound AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Kym Says:

    Just made this again. Truly delicious. Beautiful dessert

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