So what is your favourite season for fruits? Do you yearn for the comforting and rustic charms of autumn with its quinces, apples, pears and plums? Or the sweetest mandarins in winter? For me, nothing beats the refreshing allure of summer fruits. And it’s an irresistable motherload – oranges, watermelons, mangoes, cherries, strawberries, blueberries – beautiful to eat (complete with juices running down your arm!) and heavenly to bake with.
Being a creature of habit, I always turn to berries and citrus as my dessert muses without so much considering the other stars – peaches and nectarines. In fact, I don’t think I’ve eaten a stone fruit in years. It’s not that I dislike them, but in truth, I rather stick my face into a watermelon or a basket of strawberries.
Recently, I found myself with a bag of white and yellow peaches and without a clue of what to do with them. Seeing as Australia has been stifling under a heatwave, I craved something cool and ‘natural’ so the oven was left untouched.
This also marks my first foray into the world of gelatin and I was prepared to end up with a kind of peach mousse gulag that I could bounce off the walls (thankfully it turned out edible!). A mousse set with gelatin is slightly ‘spongier’ and denser than the light and fluffy meringued versions but I just had to try it, as I was in no mood to crack a million eggs to separate the whites.
Next time however, I’d add another layer of peach purée on top of the mousse or equal out the thickness of the layers. The honey and white peach mousse is great on its own but it’s even better with the refreshing zing of the yellow peach puree.
In any case, with fruits this good, I’m just not ready for summer to end yet!
Yellow Peach Purée
1 tsp of gelatin powder
1 Tbl of water
2 large yellow peaches – peeled, pitted and chopped (about 200g of peach flesh)
1 Tbl fresh lime juice
3 Tbl caster sugar (feel free to reduce it if the peaches are really ripe and sweet)
In a little bowl, pour the water over the gelatin powder and set aside for 5 minutes to gel up.
In a food processor, blitz the peaches and lime juice until it’s a smooth purée.
Place the purée in a pot over medium heat, add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Once it’s bubbling, take it off the heat, add the gelatin and stir until it’s completely dissolved.
Set the pot aside to cool to room temperature. After that, pour the purée into your serving glasses and refrigerate until set.
White Peach Mousse
1/2 Tbl of gelatin powder
2 Tbl water
2 medium white peaches – peeled, pitted and chopped (about 120g of peach flesh)
2 Tbl caster sugar
1 Tbl light honey
125ml cold thickened cream (1/2 cup)
In a little bowl, pour the water over the gelatin powder and set aside for 5 minutes to gel up. Meanwhile chill the bowl and the whisk that you are going to use to whip the cream in the refrigerator.
In a food processor, blitz the white peaches until it’s a smooth purée.
Place the purée in a pot over medium heat, add the sugar and honey and stir to dissolve. Once it’s bubbling, take it off the heat, add the gelatin and stir until it’s completely dissolved.
Set the pot aside to cool. Once it has reached room temperature and has started to set, start whipping the cream to soft peaks.
Fold the peach purée gently into the whipped cream and pour over the chilled yellow peach purée. Refrigerate to set.
Lovingly inspired by Tartelette