Peaches with Jelly, Amaretti and Almond Cream
This dessert shouts summer in a glass to me. It’s fairly easy, although there are quite a few stages involved to prepare it, but I promise you that it’s well worth the effort. It’s quite a light and very tasty dessert, making it the perfect pudding to finish off a family barbecue or get-together for a Sunday lunch.
The tiny crisp amaretti biscuits contrast beautifully with the peach jelly and almond foam and the thinly sliced peaches create this really pretty dessert. I make these as individual desserts, as I think they look even more attractive. They are very delicious too, so enjoy!
You’ll need to make these desserts in advance and ideally the day before you want to serve them, as the jelly needs to set for a minimum of 6 hours (but overnight is best).
Ingredients & Method
For the peach jelly
- 400ml clear white peach juice
- 75g caster sugar
- 4 leaves of gelatine, bloomed (softened in cold water, then squeezed gently to remove excess water)
For the almond foam (espuma)
- 300ml unsweetened almond milk
- 100ml double cream
- 50g caster sugar
- 2 leaves of gelatine, bloomed (softened in cold water, then squeezed gently to remove excess water)
- 1 shot (25ml) of amaretto liqueur
For the amaretti biscuits
- 1 large egg white
- a pinch of table salt
- 75g caster sugar
- 100g ground almonds
- 1 shot (25ml) of amaretto liqueur
- icing sugar, for dusting
For the almond cream
- 50g ground almonds
- 75ml double cream
- 75g mascarpone cheese
- 25g icing sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
- 4 ripe but firm fresh peaches
- fresh micro basil leaves (or use larger basil leaves and rip them into pieces), to decorate
First prepare the peach jelly (it’s best to prepare this the day before you want to serve the desserts). Place 8 dessert glasses on a tray in the fridge. Put the peach juice and caster sugar in a small saucepan over a medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar, then bring the mixture almost to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the bloomed gelatine and stir until dissolved. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and then pour it into the chilled glasses, dividing evenly. Leave to set in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours (but overnight is best).
For the almond foam (also known as espuma), put the almond milk, cream and caster sugar in a small saucepan over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When the mixture just starts to boil, remove it from the heat, add the bloomed gelatine and stir until dissolved, then stir in the amaretto liqueur. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and then pour it into a cream whipper. Secure the lid, charge with 2 gas pellets, shake vigorously, then leave to rest in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours before serving. Remove it from the fridge about 30 minutes before you are ready to serve (see Cook’s Notes).
Next make the amaretti biscuits. Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Whisk the egg white, salt and caster sugar together in a mixing bowl until you have a thick, glossy meringue mixture with firm peaks. Fold in the ground almonds and amaretto liqueur. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a small (5mm) plain nozzle. Pipe 5mm-diameter miniature amaretti biscuits onto the lined baking trays (giving them little peaked tops), leaving a 1cm gap between each one. Heavily dust with icing sugar and then set aside for 10 minutes.
Bake the amaretti in the oven for 10–12 minutes or until light golden in colour; they should be crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking trays for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. If you are making these in advance, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry cupboard for up to a week (see Cook’s Notes).
For the almond cream, preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Scatter the ground almonds over the lined baking tray, then bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes or until dark brown (but not burnt!), stirring the almonds twice during cooking to ensure even colouring and prevent the edges from burning (the almonds need to be cooked well until dark brown so they deliver the required taste). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the toasted ground almonds for the decoration and use the rest in the almond cream.
Place the cream, mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla seeds in a mixing bowl and whisk together until thickened, then fold in the remaining toasted ground almonds until combined. Transfer the almond cream to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle (or use a disposable piping bag with the tip snipped off).
Use a mandoline (or a sharp knife) to thinly slice the peaches into 1mm-thick slices (be careful of the stone – I slice one side until I reach the stone, then turn it around and slice from the other side); you need 4 slices per dessert. Lay the peach slices on a chopping board, pipe a dollop of the almond cream in the centre of each, then fold each slice over to form half-moon-shaped filled peach slices.
To serve, place 4 filled peach slices on top of each set jelly, then fill the gaps in with small piped dollops of the remaining almond cream. Arrange a few (3 or 4) mini amaretti biscuits in-between. Shake the cream whipper vigorously and squirt a good amount of almond foam to the side of each dessert. Decorate the desserts with micro basil leaves, then sprinkle over the remaining toasted ground almonds and serve immediately.
If there is any leftover almond foam (espuma), it will keep in the cream whipper in the fridge for up to 2 days. Serve it with chocolate ice cream and amaretti biscuits for dessert.
Store any leftover amaretti biscuits as above and serve them with coffee for a sweet treat, or with chocolate ice cream for dessert.