Friday, August 19, 2011
Roasted Peaches with Mascarpone Ice Cream
I’m really hoping you have a bounty of fresh peaches in your area because this is a fabulous dessert. It comes from Daniel Humm, a native of Switzerland who was Executive Chef at Campton Place in San Francisco and is currently at Eleven Madison Park in New York City. He's received many awards and accolades so I decided to try his take on this seasonal dessert. Wow, am I glad I did.
Although this is not a particularly fancy or laborious preparation, the elements taken together feel like a well planned marriage. Fresh peaches are smothered in a light syrup of white wine, honey and a slight sprig of rosemary. Don’t let the addition of this herb scare you away; it’s only steeped for a few minutes and it deepens the flavor beautifully without overpowering or influencing too much. The 40 minutes of roasting really caramelizes the sauce and produces wonderfully soft fleshy fruit. The Mascarpone Ice Cream delivers a lovely and natural creamy counterpoint to the warm glow of the peaches, full of flavor without being too heavy or too rich.
If you find yourself in the company of some pretty peaches anytime soon, this is an indulgence worthy of your time and attention. It’s got a bit of a Mediterranean feel to it, so it's just the sort of dessert to enjoy al fresco as a pure and simple sunny summer luxury.
- The recipe calls for 7 oz of mascarpone. The container I bought was 8 oz and I wound up using the whole amount.
- The Mascarpone Ice Cream as written was too sweet for my taste so I added 1/4 C buttermilk to the ice cream base. I thought this not only tempered the sweetness but also produced a wonderfully acidic tang that enhanced the mascarpone in the finished ice cream. If you prefer your desserts on the not-too-sweet end of the spectrum, you can do as I did or perhaps consider reducing the sugar in the ice cream to 1/2 C + 2 T. Taste the heated milk and sugar mixture and judge accordingly.
- The ice cream does take quite a bit of salt. Add a small pinch at a time and keep tasting. You'll know when it pops.
- I always chill my ice cream base overnight. This give the flavors a chance to relax and marry and ensures the mixture is very well chilled, which saves on the wear and tear of your ice cream machine.
- I used Viognier wine for the peaches but any good Sauvignon Blanc will do.
- The recipe calls for peeling the peaches. I did not.
- Put the peaches and the syrup in a baking dish that is not too large. The first time I made this in a large dish the syrup was shallow and it evaporated too quickly during the roasting process and burned. My oven does run hot, but I’d advise to check the peaches closely during that last 15 minutes of roasting. Or perhaps lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- I think this dessert is best served when the peaches and the sauce are warm.
- You could definitely get more than four servings out of this if needed.
- The wine sauce for the peaches is really delicious. I’m sure I’ll use it in other applications, not necessarily always for roasting.
Roasted Peaches with Mascarpone Ice Cream
adapted from Daniel Humm in Food & Wine magazine
Mascarpone Ice Cream
2 C whole milk
4 egg yolks
3/4 C plus 2 T sugar
1 C mascarpone (7 ounces) [I used an 8 oz container]
1/2 t fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1/4 C buttermilk [my addition; see note above]
2 C white wine, such as Viognier or Sauvignon Blanc
2 T honey
1 C water
1/4 C sugar
1 rosemary sprig
4 large ripe but firm peaches
For the ice cream, combine the milk and 3/4 C sugar in a saucepan. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and the milk is simmering.
Whisk the egg yolks with the 2 T sugar until light yellow. Slowly add the warm milk, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking. When all the milk has been added and combined, pour back into the saucepan and cook over medium low heat until the mixture thickens a bit, coats the back of a spoon and leaves a clean trail when you make a streak with your finger. Do not boil. Take off the heat immediately and pour into a clean container. Whisk in the mascarpone, lemon juice and salt to taste. Add buttermilk, if using. Cool completely. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill completely.
Pour the chilled custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container, press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface, cover and freeze until firm.
To prepare the peaches, combine the white wine, honey, water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and slow boil until the mixture is reduced by about half. Add the rosemary sprig and let stand for 10 minutes. Discard the rosemary.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Peel the peaches if desired. Halve and pit them and arrange in a baking dish small enough to just fit the peach halves. Pour the rosemary syrup on top and roast the peaches until tender, about 40 minutes, basting and turning the peaches half way through.
Scoop the Mascarpone Ice Cream into serving bowls and top with the peach halves. Spoon the warm poaching liquid over the fruit and serve right away.