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BAKED PEACHES

Serves 4

Here is a very simple dessert, ideal for this time of year when fresh peaches are in the shops. Baking them intensifies their delicious flavour; however, be sure to choose ripe fruit which yield when gently squeezed. Hard, underripe peaches will not soften properly in the oven, and have none of the sweetness or beautiful aroma that makes this dish so special.

It’s fine to use ready ground nuts, although when I have time, I chop them at home in my food processor, as I like the coarser texture.

You can bake them in advance and refrigerate until needed, but the peaches will taste better if you serve them at room temperature. Any leftovers will keep for several days in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe peaches
  • A knob of butter
  • 2 tsp sugar, honey or maple syrup
  • 150ml water *
  • 4 tsp caster sugar
  • 60g ground or chopped almonds or hazelnuts, or a mixture
  • 8 whole almonds or hazelnuts, or 1 tsp flaked almonds
  • A little extra butter and sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 190°C, 375°F, gas 5.

Using a sharp knife, cut each peach in half around the ‘equator’, twist gently to separate the halves, and remove the stone.

Butter the inside of an oven dish, into which the eight peach halves will fit snugly, and sprinkle with a little sugar, maple syrup, or honey. Pour the water into the dish and place the peach halves in it, cut side up. Combine the nuts and sugar together in a small bowl, and place a heaped teaspoonful into each peach cavity.

Place a sliver of butter over the nuts, and top with a whole nut, or a few flaked almonds.

Cover the dish tightly with foil.

Place in the oven and bake for 30 – 50 minutes, or until the peaches are soft; (test with the point of a sharp knife). Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes.

Serve either warm or at room temperature, along with any pan juices, accompanied if you like by cream, crème fraîche, Greek yoghurt or vanilla ice cream.

  • You could substitute sherry or other wine here for a more luxurious result…

Posted in Erika’s Kitchen on Aug 01, 2022