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Peach-Almond Icebox Cake

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Serves 9 to 12

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 130

Layers of fresh peaches, almond cookies, and whipped mascarpone cream meld together in this take on an old-fashioned favorite. Make this when you have juicy, sweet ripe peaches. See our no-bake dessert tips.

  • 8 ripe medium peaches (2-1/2 to 3 lb.), peeled and pitted
  • 1/4 cup peach liqueur, such as Mathilde, or water
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) mascarpone
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 oz. (1/2 cup) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 3.5-oz. boxes thin almond cookies, such as Jules Destrooper
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Set aside the 4 best peaches. Coarsely chop the remaining 4 peaches and put them in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Add the peach liqueur and granulated sugar, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally and mashing the peaches with a potato masher as they soften, until thick and jammy, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cool completely.

Slice the 4 reserved peaches thinly and set aside.

Beat the mascarpone with 1 cup of the cream, the confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Add the remaining 1 cup cream and beat on medium speed to firm peaks, about 3 minutes.

Spread a thin layer of the whipped cream (about 1/4 cup) over the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish. Cover the cream with a single layer of the cookies. Spread half of the peach jam on top of the cookies.

Arrange half of the sliced peaches on top of the jam. Then spread half of the remaining whipped cream on top of the peaches. Repeat the layering once more with the remaining cookies (you may have some left over), peach jam, peaches, and whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Before serving, scatter the toasted almonds on top of the cake. Use a large spoon to serve.

Make Ahead Tips

The assembled icebox cake can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days. Garnish with the almonds just before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 360; Fat (g): fat g 23; Fat Calories (kcal): 210; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 13; Protein (g): protein g 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 33; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 120; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 75; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

It was ok. It sounded better than it ended up. Basically it is a trifle without the cake layer. In all fairness though, I think I missed the cake layer. The cookies are so thin that they just disappear and offer very little textural contrast. I don't agree that the whipped cream was not sweet enough. The best part is that this was not overly sweet. I loved the peaches and cream but just wanted some cake in there somewhere, ha ha.

This recipe as a waste of ingredients, particularly my very sweet, ripe fruit. Thankfully, I made half of the recipe. After having only one serving, I dumped the rest! The whole thing was flavorless, like eating a mouthful of nothing with not sweet enough whipped cream. The peaches needed some lemon & zest, the cream mixture needed almond extract and the cookies disintegrated into mushy slime. Maybe more sugar, overall -- and I am not a favor of overly sweet desserts!

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