I left it to author Nigel Slater to tell me what to do with this season’s peaches, and the answer? Not much. A simple smattering of almonds, brown sugar, and butter–along with patience while the halved peaches bake–is all you need to make this recipe from Nigel’s Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard. Really.
Baked peaches with an almond crust
from Ripe by Nigel Slater (Ten Speed Press, April 2012)
This rough, buttery almond crust works with nectarines and apricots too. Just scatter it over the halved and pitted fruit before baking. Good though this is on its own, I can see every reason for cream here.
enough for 4
ripe peaches or nectarines – 4
almonds – 2 ounces (50g), 1⁄3 cup
golden baker’s sugar – 1⁄4 cup (50g)
butter – 3 tablespoons (45g)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Wipe the peaches or nectarines and cut them in half. Tug out the pits, then place the halved fruits cut side up in a shallow baking dish.
Put the almonds in a food processor—there is no need to skin them first—and blitz them to a coarse texture. They should be somewhere between gravel and traditional ground almonds (you just want them to lend a crunch to the soft fruit). Add the sugar and butter and briefly continue to mix.
Spoon the almond mixture on top of the peaches and bake for forty-five to fifty minutes, until the fruit is meltingly soft and the top is crisp. An occasional basting with the buttery juices in the dish can only help.
For more recipes from Ripe, see the excerpt below: