Tuesday, September 12, 2006
peaches peaches peaches
This Sunday I had eight guests over for dessert after seeing a movie in the Toronto International Film Festival. I had three hours available to make dessert before heading to the movie; so I knew I had to make something simple. I had a large basket of peaches and decided that I would make use of them. Eighteen peaches later, I had made a trio of desserts.
a vanilla bean panna cotta on shortbread with a peach compote
slices of fresh peach on shortbread with an ice wine sabayon
a frozen peach and ginger parfait on shortbread with diced peaches and ground pepper
For the vanilla bean panna cotta recipe, check out my post on the panna cotta trials.
For a soft and delicate shortbread that you can easily cut through with a fork, try using a recipe with icing sugar, cornstarch and a high butter content. Usually, the softer the dough the softer the cookie will be once it’s baked.
Lastly, here is the recipe for the frozen peach and ginger parfait:
1 1/2 Tbsp ginger root, peeled and sliced
6 peaches, peeled, halved and pitted
3 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/4 cup 35% cream, whipped
1. Blanche the peeled and sliced ginger root in hot water for a minute. Transfer to a food processor and process for a minute. Then add the peeled and pitted peach halves and process it till pureed. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Place this mixture aside or in the fridge.
2. Whip your 35% cream to a stiff peak, but avoid turning your cream into butter. Place the whipped cream in a container and put it in the fridge until needed.
3. In a heatproof bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly with the confectioners’ sugar; then, still beating, place the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water to create a bain-marie. Keep beating the mixture; when the mixture is lukewarm, remove the bowl from the pan and go on beating until the mixture is cool. If you are lazy like me, I just use my KitchenAid bowl over the pot and then transfer the bowl back to the mixer so that it can do all the work.
4. Once the mixture is cool, fold in the peach and ginger puree. Once combined, fold in the whip cream. Pour the parfait mixture into a 6-cup mold, or into a pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Freeze for approximately 4-6 hours.
* I would also recommend serving the parfait with small pieces of diced candied ginger.