Thursday, August 25, 2016

Great Desserts, So So Peaches

This has not been a great year for peaches. The perfect one is rare thanks to a February blast that killed off burgeoning buds. Luckily the fruit can be turned into wonderful creations that focus on their sweet, mellow flavor.They are even better than just the peach itself.

Samantha Seneviratne,creator of the interesting dessert blog, Cake Love, wrote about this amazing fruit in yesterday's New York Times Food section,Even though 2016 hasn't been their year, peaches can still be turned into tasty desserts.One that Ms. Seneviratne created is an ice cream cake. This is not one of the slap dash ones that is a slab of vanilla topped by crumbs and then another slab of chocolate. This actually has cake, a real butter on,e with five tablespoons of butter in the recipe. The ice cream is a no churn one which also includes peach preserves along with fresh raspberries - which are coming into their second season right now. The fresh peach is there in macerated form as it and the preserves are folded into the whipped cream. The cake assemblage is easy. First line a 9 by 5 loaf pan with Saran wrap leaving a six inch overhang all the way around. The cake is cut into thirds, making three rectangles.There is a layer of cake, then a layer of cream followed by the drained raspberries. This is repeated again for two more times and then freeze until firm for at least eight hours. It's topped with  a fruity mix of peach slices and fresh raspberries that have been sitting in sugar for ten minutes.

Another yummy dessert is Ms. Seneviratne's take on cobbler.This summer classic has been updated with a hazelnut infused crust.. She adds tiny wild blueberries which are a nice foil to the peaches' honey flavor. These can be picked if you have access to wild blueberry bushes however they can also be bought at farmer's markets and even found in the frozen food section. These frozen ones are actually beneficial because it helps the fruit mixture from overcooking and becoming mushy as the biscuits bake all the way through. You can use the big berries found in your supermarket, but Ms. Seneviratne warns that they are watery and have a weaker flavor.The topping requires hazelnut meal which can be bought in grocery stores and even on Amazon. It gives it a nice crunchy exterior  while still having a soft, pillowy middle.The crust also has a  half a cup of butter and a third of a cup of heavy cream.. it works well with the fruit mixture, also enhanced with vanilla bean seeds and sugar.The entire cobbler is baked for forty to forty-five minutes when the fruit comes bubbling from below and a toothpick inserted in the crust comes out with moist crumbs. Most cobblers are usually served with a pour of cream on them but I can see the first recipe's peach ice cream as a nice accompaniment here.

Don't despair if the year yielded up a lousy peach harvest. These recipes can show off their mellow sweetness and lush flesh. They are even more delicious in an ice cream cake or hazelnut infused cobbler.

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