Monday, February 1, 2010
A peach is a nectarine in fuzzy clothing.
Nectarines are my number one fruit - but they have to be super firm and tear easily from the pip. It is this firm quality that makes peaches less desirable with their plump, soft, juiciness (that and their furry skin). However, although nectarines are my snacking fruit of choice, I hate them in desserts as it ruins their chasteness, peaches on the other hand, I LOVE in desserts.
As I mentioned in my last post, upon arriving home, I spied two sad peaches sitting in the fruit bowl waiting to be picked. Their case was less critical than the bananas so I relegated them to be used the following day. I didn't want to buy any additional ingredients (aside from extra peaches), and as the weather was quite stifling, I didn't want a heavy or overly sweet dish either - I wanted their natural vibrancy to be the star element.
This dessert delivered on all of my requirements.
ease: 4/5 - multiple components.
prep time: 15mins (do most while meringue cooks).
cooking time: 35mins (includes assembling).
taste: 4.5/5. This is a peach of a dish.
The pillow-y meringue with its cracked crust and soft, marshmallow interior supports the cloud-like cream that envelopes the subacid peach slices and flirtatious peach sauce like a doting mother does her child.
Visually it also appeals; the purest white, with its cream sashay, and summer bright jewels are draped in a beautiful tangerine-rose sauce flecked with vivid coral flesh.
This desserts' sweetness in mellowed by the fruits acidity and makes this a dessert that both satisfies the sweet tooth and also satisfies those who like 'refreshing, light' desserts.
The only change I made to this dish was to substitute the orange flower to 1tsp rosewater essence - which, in all honesty, I couldn't taste. Perhaps more is needed to provide a lovely floral note. I used a combination of white and yellow peaches.
would I make it again: Yes. Everyone liked this more than they anticipated. The components can be made ahead and then assembled when ready to serve.
recipe: Peaches & cream meringue cake - from February 2010 issue.