Peaches, almond cream, barley crisp

Peaches, almond cream, barley crisp

By
From
Finding Fire
Serves
4

The summer months produce an abundance of stone fruit, with a rich cornucopia of peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots and cherries. They all partner well with almonds, partly because they belong to the same family. The natural flavour of peaches intensifies when grilled or roasted in a wood-fired oven, imbuing the flesh of the stone fruit with a sweet smokiness and accentuating its juicy ripeness. The almond cream provides a refreshing counterpoint with its floral fragrance of marzipan, created by the combination of the apricot kernel and the rosewater. Fresh green almonds have a jelly-like centre, while the barley provides a crisp cereal note.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1/4 vanilla pod
100ml agave nectar
4 ripe peach, halved and stones removed
200g green almonds
elderflowers (optional)

For the almond cream

Quantity Ingredient
800ml filtered water
60g caster (superfine) sugar
270g blanched almonds
30g blanched apricot kernels
1 teaspoon rosewater
2 leaves titanium gelatine

For the barley crisp

Quantity Ingredient
40g barley flakes
500ml filtered water
35g unsalted butter
20g plain (all-purpose) flour

Method

  1. 1. Prepare your embers and arrange a grill approximately 20 cm (8 in) above the embers.
  2. 2. Prepare the almond cream. In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Heat gently until the sugar is dissolved. Add the almonds and apricot kernels and blend until smooth. Stir in the rosewater. Soak the gelatine in cold filtered water for 5 minutes until soft before draining. Heat 100 ml (31/2 floz) of the almond mixture, then stir in the gelatine until dissolved. Pour in the remaining almond mixture. Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean container, allow to cool, then place in the refrigerator for 11/2 hours until set.
  3. 3. Preheat the oven to 120°C (250°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  4. 4. Prepare the barley crisp. In a medium saucepan, combine the barley with the water, bring to the boil and cook for approximately 30 minutes until soft. Drain the barley, retaining 100 ml (3½ floz) of the cooking liquid and, while still warm, blend with the butter to form a paste. Stir in the flour by hand, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the mixture to rest. Spread the mixture, using a spatula, onto the tray to a thickness of 1 mm (0.04 in). Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Remove and allow to cool.
  5. 5. Split the vanilla pod, scrape the seeds and place both the pod and the seeds in a small saucepan with the agave nectar. Heat gently for 10 minutes to infuse.
  6. 6. Brush the peach halves with the vanilla-infused agave nectar and grill, cut side down, for 6–8 minutes, allowing the sugars to gradually caramelise. Transfer to a tray to rest, brushing with more of the syrup.
  7. 7. Peel and halve the green almonds.
  8. 8. Serve the peaches warm with the roasting juices and spoonfuls of the almond cream between the peaches. Break the crisp into rough shards and place between and around the peaches. To finish, scatter with the green almonds and, if using, elderflowers.

ALTERNATIVE METHOD

  • Roast the peaches in a wood-fired oven heated to 120°C (250°F).
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