A friend’s mother shared this recipe with me in St. Jean Cap Ferrat on the French Riviera during a 24 hour break from my work as a private chef on a yacht on the Mediterranean. It is a light, unfussy dessert and makes use of the gorgeous peaches we’ve had in season.
What you’ll need: Serves 4
2 ½ cups water
1 lemon, juiced & zested
160g castor sugar
8 ripe peaches, washed – the flat variety works best, but small sized peaches are fine too
A pinch of coarse black pepper
1 tbsp Marsala wine
4 tbsp mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup flaked almonds, toasted
This is how it goes…
Place the water, lemon juice and castor sugar in a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat to come to a simmer, and stir gently to dissolve the sugar. Once the syrup is simmering gently, add the peaches and poach them for 20 minutes or until the peaches are just soft. Scoop them out of the syrup and set aside on a plate to cool down.
Add the pinch of black pepper to the syrup and turn the heat up to a slow boil and reduce the syrup to a thick yet pourable consistency. The syrup will go a reddish-orange colour from the peach skins. Remove the syrup from the heat once at the desired consistency and cool to room temperature.
In the meantime, carefully peel the skins from the poached, cooled peaches. In a separate bowl, whisk together the Marsala wine and the mascarpone cheese until well combined. Pop the mascarpone back into the fridge until required.
Serve the poached peaches drizzled with the lemon and black pepper syrup and a spoon of Marsala mascarpone. Finish off with scatterings of toasted almond flakes and serve immediately.