Apricots and nectarines seem to be available in large quantities at my greengrocers this month. Flown over from Spain, the peaches I have been eating are so beautiful, fragrant and juicy, enough to quench the most severe of thirsts in just one bite. It makes me envious of our Mediterranean cousins who have the heat to enable them to grow such a delectable fruit.
I love the Italian way of stuffing peaches and baking them. As the almond is related to the peach, the method of crushing little Amaretti biscuits and combining with a little Amaretto, sugar and ground almonds makes for the perfect match. It is one of those no-fuss recipes I turn to time and time again when the peaches arrive, as they always deliver satisfaction.
With no Amaretti biscuits in the cupboard, yesterday I decided to experiment. I had to find an alternative to go with the four juicy peaches I had. Wondering if ginger and walnuts would make for a good alternative, I went for it. A split vanilla pod and a good pinch of ground ginger would pick up any blandness, and it all combined to make a surprisingly delicious stuffing for my peaches. Chewy, fragrant and spicy from the ginger, it worked an absolute treat. Whether or not the Italians would approve is another matter, but here in sunny East Boldon, I was happy to take that risk. Goda I miei amici!
Ginger and Walnut Stuffed Peaches
4 peaches, split and stoned
6 ginger biscuits, crushed to fine crumbs
1 vanilla pod, split and seeded
A large handful of walnuts, crushed
50g softened butter
50g caster sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp of fruit juice, any (or if you have the white wine open, use that)
1 egg yolk
1 - Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C, GM6.
2 - In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients to make a spreadable paste. if it is too stiff, add a little fruit juice.
3 - Fill the peaches with the stuffing then spread out to the edges of the peach.
4 - Place on a high shelf and bake for 20-25 minutes.
5 - Take out of the oven. Allow to cool slightly, dust with icing sugar then serve with creme fraich and a drizzle of honey.