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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fresh Peach Gelato and Almond Peach Madeleines






Fresh peach gelato served with delicate almond-peach madeleines.  Scrumptious and refreshing, this is the perfect Summer dessert.

Mid-July in Vermont.

The heat wave is winding down, and although the plants have taken a beating, there was rain today.  The squash plants and the potatoes are making frightening progress.  John has brush-mowed and chainsawed the bottom of the field almost out to the Great Wall of Vermont.  The builders of the Wall would have approved of his work, and would have marveled at his DR All-Terrain Mower, which is a monster.  I have no idea how they managed.

For one thing, I'm positive they never made gelato.  To beat the heat, I decided to make some peach gelato using my base recipe, adding fresh peaches and peach essence*  that I canned last summer.   My technique for making gelato is rather easy, and the result is more refreshing than ice cream, since it does not use eggs or large amounts of cream.

The Wall builders couldn't have made this recipe, but I'm sure they would have appreciated it after a long, hot day of boulder-moving.

Fresh Peach Gelato

  
Ingredients

1 cup caster sugar (very fine sugar, dissolves easily)
1 cup dry milk powder
2 cups fresh milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup peach essence* or  peach nectar 
1 or 2 very ripe, sweet peaches (1 if large, 2 if medium-sized)
2 T regular granulated sugar

*After canning peaches and peach jam, I had a lot of lovely peelings.  These I cooked with sugar and some pectin, creating a rosy semi-gelled essence. This is useful for a number of things; I've used it here in both the madeleines and the gelato.  I'll describe the process when I make another batch.  You can use regular peach nectar in its place, or any peach emulsion.


 Process
  1. Mix the chopped peaches with the 2 T granulated sugar in a small bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. In food processor bowl, combine the caster sugar and dry milk powder.  Process until very fine powder.
  3. Add the milk, one cup at a time, and process until smooth.
  4. Add the peach nectar and heavy cream; process until smooth.
  5. Pour into the ice cream machine, and freeze until almost completely firm. Then add the fresh peaches and freeze until firm.
  6. Place the ice cream container in the freezer for about 3 hours to complete firming.
  7. Scoop and enjoy with Madeleines!


It's very nice to make Almond Peach Madeleines to accompany the gelato, or to enjoy on their own.  These madeleines have a lovely texture and rich almond flavor, enhanced by peach nectar.  The optional (and quite aromatic) orange flower water is a traditional flavoring for madeleines, and I think enhances the peach qualities of these little cakes.  I think you will enjoy them!


Almond Peach Madeleines


Makes 24

Ingredients
1/4 cup almond slivers
1/4 cup almond paste, fine
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup + 2 T powdered sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp orange flower water  (optional)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1/4 lb), melted and cooled to barely warm
A pinch of salt
3 egg whites
2 T granulated sugar
3 T peach essence*  or  peach nectar
softened butter for brushing on pan



Process
  1. Place almond slivers in food processor bowl with blade attached.  Process until extremely fine.
  2. Add the almond paste and process for 20 seconds
  3. Add the flour, powdered sugar and baking powder, process until well-combined.
  4. Add the vanilla, orange flower water, melted and cooled butter, and salt. Process until smooth.
  5. Add the peach nectar, process until smooth.
  6. Beat the egg whites with the 2 T granulated sugar until firm peaks form.  
  7. Take a spoonful of egg white and fold it into the mixture in the food processor bowl with a rubber spatula, to lighten this mixture prior to folding into the egg whites.  Remove the blade from the bowl and scrape clean with the spatula.
  8. Fold the batter into the egg whites in the mixing bowl with the rubber spatula.  The mixture is ready to use and should be refrigerated for an hour before baking the madeleines.  
  9. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F.  Brush softened butter liberally on the Madeleine pans. (Butter assists browning and adds flavor.  You may also use cooking spray if you would like a lighter result).
  10. Place a small amount, about 1 T, in each buttered depression.  This recipe will make 24 madeleines, so gauge accordingly.  Tap the pan sharply on the counter a couple of times to settle the batter.  The batter should not fill to the edges of the mold, because it will spread quickly while baking.  
  11. Bake until brown at the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.  Let rest in the pan for 1 minute, then unmold and cool on rack which has been sprayed with cooking spray lightly, with the excess wiped off.  (Do not stack them.  There is a tendency for madeleines to stick together, so if you are not serving them immediately, cool and place on waxed paper in a single layer in a cool, dry spot.








  12. Serve with gelato and enjoy!


Note:
Heidi was unavailable for comment on the cookies, as she has been spending quality time in front of her new Cyclone fan:



9 comments:

  1. Oooo! What gorgeous and delectable combo this is. I love your use of almond slivers and paste in the madeleines, and the gelato alongside seems completely perfect. Beautiful photos in a lovely post!

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  2. I love stopping by your blog and seeing what you and Heidi have been up to. You cooking and baking is inspiring. Stay cool, M

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  3. Thank you so much Jane! And M, ditto! Just left a comment about your sorbet, too. --Sue

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  4. p.s. I've given you an award.
    http://bettycrapper.blogspot.com/2010/07/sunshine-award.html

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  5. this looks so good- i desperately want to taste it and try to make it at the same time but am also very intimidated by it good. and your photos are beautiful! i especially love the dish you used for the gelato!

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  6. ruthie, The gelato is really very easy to make. Basically you just need a food processor to make the dry milk powder and sugar into a fine powder. That's the key thing, and it lets the milk blend in and dissolve the dry ingredients. I discovered this a while ago, and it works like magic!
    Sue

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  7. This looks beautiful. Curious, why did you choose to use milk powder instead of milk?

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  8. Hi It's Not You,it's Brie! --While I was researching gelato, I discovered that additional milk is typically added to the bases, to increase creaminess/decrease crunchy crystals. Also, I read that dry milk powder is used for this purpose (though I suppose evaporated milk would work, too). I found that adding milk to dry milk resulted in gunk. But, by grinding it to a powder, it would readily combine with milk. I'm pretty proud of that one. Anyway, I add real milk and a bit of heavy cream. It's good.
    Sue

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Your feedback matters! So please leave a comment. I will do my best to answer all comments! Cheers, Sue