Is there anything more summery than peaches and cream? What’s that? strawberries and cream you say? Pfft, never! Peaches will always do it for me, I love their soft, slightly furry skin and when they’re fully ripe the sweetness and juiciness are perfection itself. They truly are fruit of the gods and goddesses.
This is a super simple summer dessert to make. I’ve added some meringue to make this more of an Eaton mess, but it can be left out if you don’t fancy anything too sweet. Meringues are pretty easy to make by the way, the trick is to cook them on a low heat for a long time and you’re guaranteed that perfect crunchy on the outside, chewy in the middle texture. The recipe I use is adapted slightly from The Vintage Tea Party Book. It makes quite a lot, but don’t worry because you can freeze what you don’t use. You need:
- 4 Egg whites
- 225g Icing Sugar
- 1tsp Vanilla Extract
Preheat your oven to 120°C for a fan or 140°C for a conventional oven. Whisk up your egg whites until they’re at soft peak, then add your sugar and continue whisking until you can form stiff peaks. Add the extract and whisk for another minute.
To get the swirly colour on the meringues, draw a few lines of food colouring (the gel works best) along the inside of a piping bag. Using a star nozzle, pipe out kisses or nests or anything you like (a pavlova base!) onto a non stick mat and bake for 40 minutes until the outside is crisp, but not brown. Idealy, you then need to switch off the oven and leave the oven door ajar and let the meringues cool down overnight to make them even chewier. I tend not to have the patience for that though!
To roast the peaches, cut them in half and remove the stone (I used flat peaches that can be torn in half, even easier!), pop a little knob of butter on top with a tiny bit of rosemary and a drizzle of maple syrup and put into an oven at about 160°C for around 20 minutes.
Put some meringue in a bowl along with the peaches and a massive dollop of whipped cream. Eat outside on a balmy summer’s evening. Lovely.