Pesche al Forno

Baked Peaches

banner

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    6

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This simple peach dessert can be made very successfully with nectarines or even apricots, though it is especially good with the last of the season’s peaches, which are slightly more woolly and therefore able to absorb the wine and the other flavours more easily (and aren’t as pleasant to eat raw as earlier ones).

Ingredients

  • 15 g/½ oz/1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 6 large peaches
  • 6 amaretti, crumbled finely
  • 50 g/2 oz/¼ cup caster/superfine sugar
  • 25 g/1 oz/¼ cup blanched almonds, chopped
  • 150 ml/¼ pint/ cup Marsala
  • 12 squares unsweetened cooking chocolate

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 and grease an ovenproof dish. Cut the peaches in half. Remove and discard the stones or pits. Scoop out half of the flesh and transfer to a bowl.

  2. Mash the removed peach flesh with the crumbled amaretti and the butter, sugar and almonds. Moisten the mixture with a little of the Marsala - just enough so that the filling mixture has a sticky texture.

  3. Position the halved peaches rounded-side down in an ovenproof dish into which they fit snugly, which will help prevent them from rolling around. Fill all the peaches evenly with the filling mixture and pour over the remaining Marsala.

  4. Cover the dish loosely with foil and bake, basting occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until the peaches are tender.
  5. Remove the foil and place a square of chocolate on top of each peach half. Increase the temperature of the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7 and bake the peaches for 5-10 minutes until the tops are lightly crisp and the chocolate has just melted. Alternatively, slide them under a hot grill or broiler for about 5 minutes. Serve the baked peaches hot or cold.

Variation

You could use other stone fruits for this simple yet elegant dessert. Nectarines and apricots are especially suitable, or you could try peeled, hollowed-out pears for something a bit different.