One of our favourite ways to cook peaches is to gently poach them in prosecco. The poaching liquid becomes deeply infused with lush peach flavour and turns a beautiful rosy hue. Then it's simple to transform it into a jelly that's even better when set between layers of almond dacquoise and whipped mascarpone. If you want to skip a step, use savoiardi biscuits instead of making the dacquoise. Start this recipe a day ahead to set the jelly.
- 700 ml prosecco
- 200 gm caster sugar
- Thinly peeled rind and juice of 1 orange and ½ lemon
- 8 peaches, bases scored
- 6 titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 3-5 minutes
- Peach brandy (see note), for drizzling
- 180 gm roasted almonds
- 125 gm icing sugar
- 30 gm plain flour
- 5 eggwhites (reserve egg yolks for whipped mascarpone)
- 60 gm caster sugar
- Finely grated rind of ½ orange
- 30 gm melted butter
- 5 egg yolks (reserved from dacquoise)
- 110 gm caster sugar (1/2 cup)
- 50 ml prosecco
- Juice of ½ orange
- 750 gm mascarpone
- 200 ml pouring cream
- 1Stir prosecco, sugar, rinds, juices and 750ml water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, add peaches and weight with a plate to submerge. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until peaches are tender (8-10 minutes). Remove saucepan from heat, cool peaches to room temperature in syrup, then remove with a slotted spoon. Peel and cut into wedges, and refrigerate until required.
- 2Remove rinds from poaching liquid and place in another saucepan with 250ml poaching liquid and set aside.
- 3Strain 1 litre remaining poaching liquid into a clean saucepan (pour remaining poaching liquid over peaches) and bring to a simmer. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to pan and stir to dissolve. Refrigerate to cool completely, then pour half into the base of a 3-litre trifle bowl (reserve remaining jelly mixture at room temperature so it doesn't set completely) and place in freezer until just beginning to set (40-45 minutes). Add a third of the peach wedges and refrigerate until jelly is firm (1-2 hours).
- 4Meanwhile, for almond dacquoise, preheat oven to 180C, and butter and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Process almonds, icing sugar and flour in a food processor until finely ground and set aside. Whisk eggwhites to soft peaks, then, with the motor running, gradually add sugar and whisk until stiff and glossy. Fold in almond mixture and orange rind, then fold in butter. Spread to 1cm thick on prepared trays and bake, swapping and turning trays partway through cooking, until light golden brown (8-10 minutes). Loosen edges with a palette knife, invert onto baking paper, peel away baking paper on base and cool completely.
- 5Simmer reserved syrup and rinds over medium-high heat until a light syrup forms and rinds become translucent (6-8 minutes), then refrigerate until required.
- 6For whipped mascarpone, whisk egg yolks, sugar, prosecco and juice in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until thick and pale (4-5 minutes), then whisk in an electric mixer until cooled to room temperature (2-3 minutes). Whisk mascarpone and cream in a bowl just until soft peaks form (don't overwhisk or mixture will split and become grainy), then fold in egg yolk mixture.
- 7To finish assembling, cut a round of almond dacquoise to fit inside trifle bowl, place on jelly and drizzle with brandy. Spread half the whipped mascarpone on top, then gently ladle on remaining jelly mixture – if the jelly has set too much by this stage, gently warm it over low heat to soften to ladling consistency – and freeze until just beginning to set (40-45 minutes). Add half the remaining peach wedges and refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours). Cut another round from remaining dacquoise as before to fit bowl, place on top of set jelly, drizzle with brandy and spread with remaining whipped mascarpone. Cover and refrigerate overnight for flavours to develop and combine, and serve topped with remaining peach wedges and drizzled with peach syrup.
If peach brandy is unavailable, substitute peach schnapps or brandy.