We've been drowning under peaches over here. Fresh, juicy local peaches. They were good starting in June but they are just tremendous right now. They got plenty more rain and sunshine to get even better. If that was even possible. Bu they did. The stalls at the farmers' market bear the same jovial velvet dresses of oranges, yellows and terra cotta. Makes me long for the fresh markets of Provence where I grew up. So colorful, so hot, so happy.
Thursday seemed to start with a peach sessions: roasting, jamming, cutting and peeling a bunch to freeze and enjoy during Fall. Lunch was the perfect time to make plans about their use. When dinner came, we enjoyed sweet concoctions like these Peach Mousse & Strawberry Verrines.
Friday started the same way but ended up with a batch of peach jam, peach pate de fruit and matcha macarons for wedding favors. By Saturday morning, first thing I twittered was "peach pate de fruit and matcha macarons I love you". I am telling you...summer makes my head twirl and spin. Bill did hide both from me or there wouldn't have been any left for the wedding at the rate I was going. Sorry....
He's been playing the same trick with the berries, the peaches, the tomatoes, and these verrines. I made six before he left to play music and when he came back there were 4.5 gone. Ooops! I just can't get enough of the bounties of summer. I admit I have had such little desire for chocolate this summer that I have decided that no, nothing was wrong with me and that yes, I will enjoy these fine summer rituals until the end.
It's still too hot to lose myself in chocolate yet. Well, that's not entirely true. My friend Sarah came for dinner one evening with a pan of her famous brownies and I happily devoured my share (and that of my imaginary friend I hear!). For us lately it's been fruit all the time, all the way. With peaches as good as these, it'd be a shame not to.
I have no idea how I came up with these verrines. I just started to think about the best way to use peaches in their "natural" state, as unaltered as possible. I know I am not the only one to think that with fruits this good it'd be a shame to start messing around too much. Yep, Jen's crisp is next on the list.
The base of the verrine is simply some peach puree with lime juice, sugar and a bit of gelatin to help support the peach mousse. I started thinking about doing an Italian meringue based mousse but I was kneed deep in meringue for macarons and a bit tired of washing dishes. Instead, I opted for a simpler fruit mousse base, whipped cream and that worked perfectly as the peaches were already full of natural sugar. The top was leaving me pondering and thinking until I spotted a bag of strawberries I had frozen last May when they were in full season. Score!
And then it was like a little piece of white sand on crowded beach. Nothing else mattered...
Peach Mousse Verrines:
For the peach puree:
1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
1 tablespoon cold water
1 cup (200gr) peaches, peeled and pitted diced small
juice and zest of a lime
2 tablespoons (25gr) sugar
For the peach mousse:
1/2 tablespoon gelatin
2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup (130gr) peaches, peeled and pitted, diced small
2 tablespoons (25gr) sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) heavy cream, cold
For the strawberry topping:
1/2 teaspoon gelatin
2 teaspoons water
3/4 cup (115gr) fresh strawberries, halved
1 tablespoon of sugar (or to taste)
splash of lemon juice
Prepare the peach puree layer:
Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and reserve. Process the peach dices with the lime juice and zest and the sugar until completely processed. Heat the mixture in a medium saucepan set over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Add the gelatin and stir until it is completely melted. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Divide evenly among 4 glasses. Refrigerate until set.
Prepare the peach mousse:
Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and reserve. In the bowl of a food processor, puree the peaches until completely smooth. Place the puree and the sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium heat and heat until it bubbles. Add the gelatin and stir until completely dissolved. Let cool to room temperature. When the mixture starts to set, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks and gently fold it in the fruit mixture. Divide evenly among the glasses. Refrigerate until set.
Prepare the strawberry puree:
Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and reserve. In the bowl of a food processor puree the strawberries with the sugar and splash of lemon juice until completely smooth. Heat that mixture in a small pan set over medium high heat and cook until it bubbles. Stir in the gelatin and stir until it dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Divide it on top of the peach mousse and refrigerate until set.