Peaches are a tell-tale sign that summer is properly here. Though they are flown in from somewhere or other year-round in the UK, they are only truly delicious at the height of summer, ideally with as few miles behind them as possible, when a great ripe peach will ooze sweet, sticky juice all over your chin as you bite into it. They work brilliantly in refreshing summer salads and pair well with light cheeses, but today we’re focusing on the sweet side of life with a couple of stunners. The first you can make and freeze in advance (and by all means double or treble the recipe if you have a glut), and works best with white-fleshed peaches, because they turn a charming pink when roasted. The second is a quicker affair that involves minimal effort, and that works equally well with almonds or cashews instead of, or as well as, pistachios.
Peach and pistachio tarte fine (pictured top)
Prep 10 min
Chill 10 min+
Cook 30 min
Serves At least 6
1 x 200g sheet pre-rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
100g shelled pistachios
50g icing sugar
1 tbsp flour
Zest of 1 lime
A pinch of flaky sea salt
3-4 peaches (orange-fleshed ones work best here)
1 tbsp sugar
Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Lay the pastry sheet on a flat oven sheet pan, then brush beaten egg in a 5cm rim all around the edges of the pastry.
Using a fork, poke little holes all over the un-eggwashed centre part of the pastry, then put in the fridge to chill for at least 10 minutes.
In a small food processor, blitz 80g of the pistachios to a fine crumb. Add the icing sugar, flour and remaining egg, and blitz to a paste. Add the lime zest and a pinch of flaky sea salt, then spoon in a thin layer all over the pricked part of the puff pastry. Roughly chop the remaining pistachios and set aside.
Halve and stone the peaches, then cut each half into eight equal wedges. Arrange these neatly in a single layer on the pistachio mix, then sprinkle the sugar all over the top of the pastry, including the egg-washed rim. Bake for 12 minutes, then sprinkle the remaining pistachios all over the top and roast for the final six to eight minutes, until lovely and golden all over. Serve with ice-cream.
Roasted peach parfait
Prep 10 min
Cook 20 min
Freeze 2 hr +
For the roast peach puree
200g peaches (2-3 ,depending on size) – white ones, for preference
30g caster sugar
Juice of 1 lemon, plus 2 strips zest
1 tbsp elderflower cordial, or orange blossom honey
1 tbsp peach schnapps, or vodka or gin
For the parfait
2 egg yolks
200g peach puree (see above and method)
150ml double cream, very lightly whipped
Heat an oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Quarter and stone the peaches and put them in an ovenproof tray that will hold the juices and in which they’ll sit snugly in a single layer. Sprinkle over the sugar and lemon juice, throw in the strips of lemon zest, then roast for six minutes. Add three tablespoons of water to the tray, then return it to the oven for five to six minutes, until the peaches are soft (the timing depends on how firm the fruit is to start with).
Take out of the oven and leave to cool, then stir in the elderflower cordial (or honey) and alcohol. Put four peach quarters and four tablespoons of their syrup in a bowl and set aside, then puree the rest in a small food processor. You should end up with 200g puree.
Now make the parfait. Put the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water, turn the heat to a low simmer, then whisk for four or five minutes, until you have a thick and fluffy sabayon. Off the heat, fold in the peach puree followed by the lightly whipped cream, transfer to four glasses (you’ll need about 100ml in each) or individual moulds, then freeze for at least two hours.
To serve, top each portion with the reserved roast fruit and syrup.
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