Yotam Ottolenghi is the author of nine best-selling cookery books which have garnered many awards, including the National Book Award for Ottolenghi SIMPLE, which was also selected as best book of the year by the New York Times. Yotam has been a weekly columnist for the Saturday Guardian for over fifteen years and is a regular contributor to the New York Times. We love the recipes and carry the book SIMPLE, among others too!
We are featuring three fabulous recipes from Ottolenghi featuring the luscious peach.
Rolled pavlova with peaches and blackberries (taken from an article from The Guardian)
This showstopper (pictured top) makes a real statement. Don’t be put off by its size: large pavlovas are much easier to roll than small ones. We’ve paired late-summer peaches with the blackberries of early autumn, but use whatever fruit you like. The meringue can be baked up to a day ahead. Fill it with fruit and cream up to four hours ahead of time, though it’s best to leave this as close as possible to serving. Serves 10 to 12.
250g egg whites (ie, from six large eggs), at room temperature
375g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp white-wine vinegar
2 tsp corn flour
For the filling
400ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
30g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
5 large, ripe peaches, washed but unpeeled, halved, stoned and cut into 0.5cm-wide segments
300g fresh blackberries
60g toasted flaked almonds
Heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Line a 35cm x 30cm shallow baking tray with enough greaseproof paper to hang 2cm over the sides.
To make the meringue, put the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment in place and whisk to soft peaks on a medium-high speed for about a minute. Add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking all the time, and continue to beat for at least five minutes, until the mixture turns into thick, glossy meringue. Turn the speed to low, add the vanilla, vinegar and corn flour, then raise the speed to medium and whisk for a minute, until combined.
Spoon the meringue into the lined tin and use a spatula to spread it out evenly. Place in the heated oven and immediately lower the temperature to 200C/390F/gas mark 6: it’s this contrast in temperatures that helps create that crisp exterior and gooey, marshmallow-like insides. Bake for 35 minutes, until the meringue is pale beige in colour and crusty on top, then remove and set aside until cool. The meringue will puff up in the oven and deflate slightly when cooled. (If you’re making it a day ahead, once cool, cover the tray with a tea towel and keep at room temperature.)
For the filling, beat the cream to very soft peaks – about a minute with an electric whisk on a medium-high speed; longer if whisking by hand. Add the vanilla and icing sugar, and whisk to incorporate.
Place a clean tea towel flat on top of the meringue (or use the one already covering it, if you made it the day before) and quickly but carefully invert it on to the work surface, so the crisp top is now facing down. Lift away the tin and carefully peel off the baking paper, then spread the meringue evenly with two-thirds of the whipped cream. Cover with 500g sliced peaches and 200g blackberries, and sprinkle over 50g almonds.
Now to roll the meringue. Starting with the longest side closest to you, and using the tea towel to assist you, roll the meringue up and over, so it comes together into a log. Gently pull away the tea towel as you roll, then slide the meringue seam side down on to a long tray or platter; don’t worry if it loses its shape a bit, or if some of the fruit spills out.
Pipe or spoon the rest of the cream down the length of the roulade, top with the remaining fruit and nuts, dust with icing sugar, and serve.
Grilled peaches, apricots and figs with scented yoghurt (from the Ottolenghi website)
For this salad choose a selection of seasonal stone fruit. Grill the fruit that are relatively hard but leave the soft and juicy ones as they are.
4 peaches and/or nectarines, each pitted and cut into 6 wedges (500g net)
6 apricots, halved and pitted (200g net)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 large ripe figs, torn into 2 or 3 pieces (180g net)
2 tsp ANISEEDS or fennel seeds, toasted and finely crushed
10g small basil leaves
150g full-fat yoghurt
1½ tbsp thyme flower honey or another floral honey
1 tbsp lemon geranium water or ½
ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER
1½ tsp lemon juice (optional)
Put a large ridged griddle pan on high heat and leave until it is very hot. In a bowl mix the peaches, nectarines and apricots that you are grilling with the oil. Place them on the griddle pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until they are charred and slightly softened. Remove and set aside to cool.
Mix the yoghurt with the honey and ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER. Stir in the lemon juice, if using, and refrigerate until needed.
Before serving, arrange the peaches and apricots on a large platter and dot the torn figs on top. Spoon the yoghurt sauce over the fruit, leaving parts of the fruit exposed. Sprinkle over the GROUND SEEDS and finally scatter with the fresh basil leaves. Serve at once.
Peach, rosemary and lime galette (from the Ottolenghi website)
This makes good use of firm, not-so-ripe peaches. By macerating them in sugar and lime juice, you not only soften the fruit, but you also make a beautiful syrup to pour over the dish at the end. Rosemary, which I’ve used both in this dish and in the shrub, is a fantastic match for peach. It’s a combination I discovered only recently, and now I can’t get enough of it.
2 limes – 1 peeled in 7 long strips, the other grated, to get 1 tsp, then both juiced, to get 1½ tbsp
80g caster sugar
2 large firm peaches, stoned and cut into 0.5cm-thick slices (300g net weight)
2 large sprigs rosemary, plus ½ tbsp picked leaves
150g creme fraiche
Plain flour, for dusting
200g all-butter puff pastry
10g unsalted butter, cut into 1cm pieces
1 egg, beaten
¼ tsp cornflour
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
Mix the lime juice with 60g sugar in a large bowl, add the peaches, strips of lime skin and rosemary sprigs. Stir and set aside to macerate for at least 40 minutes, and up to a couple of hours. Strain the peaches through a sieve set over a small saucepan, and discard the rosemary and lime peel: you should end up with about 60ml peach syrup.
Mix the grated zest and a teaspoon of sugar into the creme fraiche and refrigerate until ready to serve.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry into a 26cm-wide circle just under 0.5cm thick, then transfer to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Arrange the strained peaches haphazardly in the middle of the pastry, leaving a clear 6cm border all around the edge, then fold this outer 6cm rim up and over the peaches. Dot the butter over the exposed peaches, then brush the pastry all over with beaten egg. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar evenly over the pastry and bake for 20 minutes, until it’s golden and the filling is beginning to bubble.
While the galette is baking, whisk the cornflour into the reserved peach syrup. Simmer over a medium-high heat until it thickens to the consistency of honey (about two minutes), then pour over the peaches. Sprinkle the rosemary leaves on top and return the galette to the oven for 15 minutes, until the pastry is golden-brown and the filling bubbling.
Leave to cool slightly, then serve with a bowl of the lime creme fraiche on the side.