Stuffed & Baked Peaches with Wild Blackberry Sauce
by Alice Waters
from Fine Cooking
Amaretti cookies, also called Italian macaroons, are available at specialty markets. Beaumes de Venise is a fortified sweet wine from southern France. A Sauternes can also work. If you can’t find wild blackberries for the sauce, use the freshest blackberries your market offers.
6 Tbs. unblanched whole almonds (2-1/2 oz.)
6 amaretti cookies
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened; more for the baking dish
2 Tbs. sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 to 3 Tbs. Beaumes de Venise
4 very large (or 8 small) ripe peaches, peeled
For the sauce:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup wild or cultivated blackberries
Lemon juice to taste
Kirsch to taste (optional)
Make the stuffing:
Heat the oven to 375°F. Lightly toast the almonds just enough to bring out their flavor, about 5 minutes. Using a rolling pin, crush the amaretti between sheets of waxed paper until they’re in tiny chunks but not powdered. Chop the almonds finely with a knife or a few quick pulses in the processor. In an electric mixer, beat the butter until very light and fluffy. Add the sugar and then the egg yolk and continue beating until the mixture is again light and very fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Beat in the almonds and crushed amaretti cookies. Flavor with a few drops of the Beaumes de Venise.
Bake the peaches:
Heat the oven to 375°F. Halve the peaches and remove the pits. Lightly butter a baking dish that fits the peach halves snugly and arrange the peaches in it. Stuff each with a rounded Tbs. or more of stuffing. Add a splash of Beaumes de Venise to the dish and bake, basting the peaches with the juices in the dish, until tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 30 to 40 minutes. The topping should have a gentle gratinéed look.
While the peaches bake, make the sauce:
In a small pot over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the water. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Cool. Meanwhile, purée the blackberries in a food mill or processor. Press the purée through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. Combine the purée with the sugar syrup. If the berries aren’t tart enough, season with lemon juice. Add kirsch to taste and serve the sauce with the baked peaches.
nutrition information (per serving):
Photo: Mark Thomas