With local peach season just about here, the Peachy Keen Mascarpone Parfait is just the thing to finish off a summer meal. This easy to prepare dessert can be assembled the day before. Just cover the glass with film.
The riper the peaches the less time they will need to be blanched. If you can get cling free peaches, it will make separating the flesh from the stone so much easier leaving a better looking peach half.
The amaretti cookies are an Italian specialty. They are highlighted with bitter almond which is one of my favorite tastes.
Mascarpone is a semi-soft, creamy, Italian cheese that comes in a tub. It can be found in the specialty cheese case of grocery stores or in specialty cheese shops. Cream cheese is sometimes substituted for this cheese but it does not have the same consistency or taste.
40% or heavy whipping cream is used for its higher fat content than regular whipping cream. As such it holds the water in suspension and the cream will not leak liquid when whipped. It is also more dense when whipped.
Parfait glasses are usually stemmed and can be various shapes. However, any glass will do.
Peachy Keen Mascarpone Parfaits
1 cup diced peaches (about 2 medium size peaches)
¾ cup 40% cream
⅔ cup powdered sugar
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 ounces mascarpone cream
2 ounces amaretti cookies, crushed
Crush the amaretti cookies by placing then in a food processor and pulsing until you get fairly large crumbs. Alternately, place in a plastic bag and roll over them with a heavy rolling pin.
To easily remove the skins from the peaches, place in boiling water from 30 seconds to about 1 minutes until the skin is loosened.
Immediately remove from the water and place in a colander. Run cold water over them to stop the heating. Slip the skins off.
Cut the peaches in ½ inch dice. Place in a non metal bowl and cover directly with plastic wrap. Set aside.
Fit a mixing bowl with the whisk. Add the cream and whip until stiff.
Remove from bowl and set aside.
Without cleaning the bowl, add the sugar and egg yolks.
Beat for 2 minutes until well combined. Whisk until cool and volume has tripled, about 4 minutes with a heavy duty mixer. A hand mixer will take longer. Add the mascarpone ⅓ at a time, beating until each addition is completely incorporated. Stir ⅓ of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Fold in the remaining cream.
Layer approximately ¼ cup mascarpone, and 2 tablespoons peaches in a parfait glass.
Sprinkle with amaretti crumbs.
Repeat layering. Finish with mascarpone topped with amaretti crumbs.
Yield: 4 servings