Ligurian baked stuffed peaches are an ode to summer stone fruits. Yes, because all summer stone fruits (nectarine, peaches, apricots, cherries, plums) baked are excellent. Jams are the first evidence.
So you have to work up your courage if it’s very hot outside, turn on the oven and bake summer stone fruits. Open parenthesis: I really suggest to reconsider baking on summer time. It’s not so bad at all: you just prepare the food in the pan – in this case you clean the peaches, prepare the stuffing and stuff them – and the rest is made by the oven. You set the timer and until it rings you forget about the recipe and spend your time outside the kitchen! Super convenient.
Baked stuffed peaches, which is a very traditional Genoese recipe, is one of my favorite recipe of baked fruit because with few simple ingredients and in a very short time you prepare a light, fresh , summer desert to be served at room temperature (read: you prepare it when you want and even let it rest in the fridge for one day and take it off couple of hours before serving). You can eat them with vanilla ice-cream as a dessert closing a summer dinner, alone as an afternoon small treat or even for breakfast.
The perfect peaches for this recipe are nectarines, because they have a more solid pulp and removing the stone – keeping the halves whole – is easier, and this is, I have to admit, the most challenging part of the recipe, especially if your nectarines are not perfectly ripe.
The traditional recipe provides for some candied citrus and even for some candied pumpkin. In the past it was probably a common ingredient all year long. Nowadays you can find candied pumpkin only at Christmas if any. So I slightly changed the recipe substituting it with dried apricots, whose favor matches perfectly with nectarines and amaretti.
Amaretti biscuits are the second main ingredient. As you may know amaretti are made with almond flour and egg whites. The almond taste is the very same of the seeds of the nectarines, the ones hidden in the stone of the fruit, those these latter are far far bitter and usually they are also called “bitter almonds” (“armelline” in Italian). You will see, just few nectarine seeds blended in the filling will enormously increase the almond flavor given by amaretti.
You can prepare baked stuffed peaches in two versions: with the cap and without. As you like most, the savor doesn’t change that much. Maybe capped are more nice-looking.
Here the recipe, enjoy! And share your results please!
Looking for some more ideas for baking fruits?
- if you have pulpy ripe apricots you can prepare an apricot jam “old stile” with my Granny recipe, or bake an apricot tart with a creamy filling.
- you can prepare a hot fruit salad for seasoning your yogurt or morning porridge or for an afternoon treat;
- and you can also try another very ancient Ligurian recipe: the Italian Riviera summer fruit pie, in Genoa called “Giardiniera dolce”.