One of the most classic and classiest desserts of the Italian repertoire, from Piemonte: peaches, stuffed with amaretti biscuits mixed with liqueur, then roasted. I prefer not to include the customary cocoa powder in the filling, because I feel it overpowers the delicate peach flavour, but if you like the idea, just add a tablespoon to the mix. I also prefer to roast the peaches before stuffing them – this makes them creamy tender, the way I like it. Eat it warm.
This lovely dessert works well also with the lustreless peaches we often get here in the UK and it is the loveliest farewell to summer.
Roasted peaches Piedmontese style
6 peaches (about 200 g each), ripe but on the firm side, not peeled.
1 tablespoon each of Amaretto, brandy and rum
Dry amaretti biscuits, about 100 g, crushed
Preheat the oven to 180 C fan.
First of all, halve the peaches: if you have troubles, cut them round and then twist the two halves in opposite directions, without squashing them obviously.
Remove the stones from them, using a teaspoon and a little knife.
Remove some of the pulp, just enough to make the hollow a little bigger. Aim at removing about one scant tablespoon pulp from each halve, but do not fret over this.
Place these halves on a buttered tray, sprinkle them with sugar and bake for about 30-40 minutes, until dried out, soft, but still retaining their shape. Remove from the oven when done, but do not switch it off.
Meanwhile, slice the two remaining peaches. And cook them, alongside the peach pulp, in a pan with a walnut-sized knob of butter until reduced to a dry-ish compote. Mash with a fork any large piece.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and let it cool.
Add the yolks, a pinch of salt and the liqueurs.
You have now to add as many crushed amaretti biscuits as it takes to get a paste that you will be able to spread and mound of the cooked halves. I used about 100 g but it is impossible to be specific: just try to dollop a little stuffing on one of the peaches: if it does not stay put, you have to add more crushed amaretti.
Stuff all the peaches and dot them with butter shavings
Roast them for about 30 minutes
Eat them warm