When baked in the oven, peaches caramelize in their juices, deepening their flavor. This dessert becomes elegant and sophisticated in its presentation: Use a pretty plate or a coupe glass and layer the soft, caramelized fruit with golden toasted almonds and mounds of orange-scented whipped cream.
The almonds add crunch and smokiness, and with almond extract and orange zest added to the cream, this simple dessert becomes a wonderful combination of flavors that truly reminds me of classic aromas in the Andalucian countryside. Sublime.
Ripe to medium ripe peaches are essential; bake them with their skins on to maintain their shape. I use a combination of white and regular peaches to add more color, but whatever is available is just fine. Try adding plums, nectarines, and apricots when available.
- 12 medium peaches, halved and pitted
- 1/4 cup almond slivers
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the peach halves on a baking sheet in a single layer, cut sides up. Bake until soft and slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes.
In a sauté pan over medium heat, toast the almonds until just golden brown. Set aside.
In a bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, almond extract, and orange zest and mix until combined. Chill until ready to serve.
To serve, place three peach halves on each plate, sprinkle the toasted almonds on top, and garnish with a dollop of the flavored cream. Serve the peaches slightly warm or at room temperature.