Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Grilled Peaches and Apricots
Wednesday, August 09, 2017
Master Chef Walter Potenza, GoLocalWorcester Food Expert
In the summer just about anything can be grilled. Of course the staples of burgers, hot dogs, fish and proteins in general. Here is a great alternative for you; a simple and luscious dessert enriched with the butterfat of Mascarpone cheese on the side and almond crunch. I am using peaches and apricots, but you may opt for some bananas and pineapples as well, or whatever you see fit, as long as the texture is firm and workable.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
Fruit and mascarpone
1 large lemon
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
4 cups water
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1 inch-long piece fresh ginger cut into rounds
¼ teaspoon cardamom seeds from cardamom pods
3 large peaches, peeled, quartered, pitted
6 apricots, halved, pitted
1- 8 to 9 ounces container mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons whipping cream
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
Mint for garnish
For the almond crunch melt the butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add almonds. Stir until nuts are golden about 10 minutes. Sprinkle sugar and salt over. Stir until sugar melts and nuts glisten, about 3 minutes. Spread mixture out on piece of foil and cool completely. (Can be made 2 days ahead and stored in airtight container).
For fruit and mascarpone: Using a vegetable peeler cut peel from lemon in strips; place in large saucepan. Squeeze ¼ cup lemon juice into saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Add 4 cups water, sugar, ginger, and cardamom seeds. Bring to boil over high heat; stir until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat. Add peaches, poach 1 minute. Add apricots; poach 1 minute. Using strainer, transfer fruit to baking sheet; chill up to 6 hours. Boil syrup until reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes. Cool. Blend mascarpone, cream, and 3 tablespoons reduced syrup in bowl. Cover and chill up to 4 hours. Thread 2 peach quarters and 2 apricot halves onto each of 6 metal skewers. Arrange on platter. Spray rack with nonstick spray; prepare grill on medium heat. Place pan with syrup on rack to reheat slightly. Grill fruit on skewers until slightly charred basting with syrup, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer fruit to bowls. Sprinkle with almond crunch, drizzle with syrup, and spoon sweet mascarpone alongside. Garnish with baby mint leaves.
Master Chef Walter Potenza is the owner of Potenza Ristorante in Cranston, Chef Walters Cooking School and Chef Walters Fine Foods. His fields of expertise include Italian Regional Cooking, Historical Cooking from the Roman Empire to the Unification of Italy, Sephardic Jewish Italian Cooking, Terracotta Cooking, Diabetes and Celiac. Recipient of National and International accolades, awarded by the Italian Government as Ambassador of Italian Gastronomy in the World. Currently on ABC6 with Cooking Show “Eat Well." Check out the Chef's website and blog
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