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A big part of the flavor in this summertime dessert comes from the cooked mosto (in the form of Italian vin cotto or saba) that is used as an ingredient, as well as to finish the dish. Look for it in Italian grocery stores. For more about vin cotto, see page 38. Look for the largest fresh peaches in season for this recipe. If you can’t find large-sized peaches, substitute smaller peaches, adjusting the recipe slightly if needed, and using two halves per serving instead of one.
• 3 large peaches, white or yellow
• 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
• 1 tablespoon sambuca
• 1 tablespoon cooked must (vin cotto or saba), plus as needed for garnish
• 2 large egg yolks
• 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
• 1/3 cup heavy cream
• 1/4 cup crumbled amaretto cookies
• 3 cups ice cream, optional
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Wash the peaches and cut them in half, removing the pit. Scoop out 1 tablespoon of the flesh from the center of each peach half, and set aside in a medium bowl to puree with the cocoa powder in the next step. Reserve the remaining peach halves separately.
Puree the peach flesh by hand or in a food processor with the cocoa powder, sugar, sambuca and the cooked must. Whisk in the egg yolks, lemon zest, and heavy cream; combine well. Slowly add the crumbled cookies. You should have a soft, but pliable, filling. Spoon the filling into the reserved peach halves. Place them in an ovenproof dish and bake at 325°F for about 20 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature accompanied by a scoop of ice cream, if desired, and garnished with a bit of cooked must.
Recipe from A TAVOLA! Recipes and Reflections on Traditional Italian Home Cooking by Gianni Scappin and Vincenzo Lauria (Lebhar-Friedman, August 2009, Hardcover/$29.95)
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