In California a couple of weeks ago, apricots were the go-to fruit, but here at home in the Hudson Valley, N.Y., we’re having an early peach season. Dripping with perfumed juice, our local peaches are thick, fuzzy-skinned and yellow-fleshed (most commonly). Wonderful!
A few of my favorite ways to prepare peaches include: in a cream pie, under an oatmeal crisp, on top of a simple butter cake and also in spicy salsa. However, when local peaches are almost too beautifully ripe to fool with by cooking them, I like to make stuffed peaches, a straightforward, no-cook dessert. You don’t have to heat up your kitchen, and the ricotta cheese creates a luxurious, refreshing combination with the fruit. You can also try adding mini chocolate chips to imitate a richer cannoli filling.
- 1 super-ripe peach per person
- a little lemon juice or a little orange liqueur
- 2 to 3 tablespoons whole-milk ricotta per peach
- 1/4 teaspoon each vanilla or almond extract per peach
- 1/4 cinnamon per peach
- 1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar per peach
- 1 tablespoon slivered almonds or chopped pistachios per peach
- white sugar for sprinkling
Carefully split the peaches, and remove the pits. Squeeze a little lemon juice on the halves, or dip them in the orange liqueur to prevent them from turning brown. Mix together the remaining ingredients, except the white sugar for sprinkling. Put a dollop of the mix into the depression from which you removed the peach pit, and re-sandwich the peach halves together. Sprinkle them with a little white sugar before serving, just for looks, and garnish with a mint leaf or two.