The Piedmontese and Ligurians are known for their amaretto-stuffed roasted peaches. They are truly sublime as long as the fruit is ripe and sweet. (If you have any doubts about the peaches you are using, substitute another ripe fruit instead.) Cooking the stuffed peaches directly on the grill would dry them out and yield burned-on-the-outside, raw-on-the-inside fruit; placing them in an aluminum foil roasting pan with a bit of Vin Santo, a Tuscan dessert wine, allows them to cook to perfection. If you don’t have Vin Santo on hand, substitute Marsala, a fortified dessert wine from Sicily.
Amaretti are almond macaroons, crunchy and dry and laced with bitter almonds. Piedmont is the region of Italy best known for its amaretti. When I was little, my parents bought large quantities wrapped in multicolored paper, which they offered to guests in a dramatic glass bowl. Aside from being a favored dessert, amaretti are used in numerous savory recipes in northern Italy and often appear in fillings for fresh pasta or stuffed roasted vegetables such as baby onions.–Micol Negrin
Amaretto-Stuffed Peaches with Vin Santo Glaze Recipe
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 50 minutes, not including cooling | Serves 4
- 4 ripe but firm peaches, halved and pitted, peel on
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup crumbled amaretti (about 4 large amaretti)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the roasting pan
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup Vin Santo
- 1. Heat a grill to a high flame.
- 2. Scoop out some of the peach flesh around where the pit used to be, dice finely, and place in a bowl. Add the sugar, amaretti, butter, and egg, and crush with a fork.
- 3. Arrange the scooped-out peach halves, cut side up, in a 12-inch aluminum foil roasting pan. Stuff each with some of the amaretti mixture. Pour the water and the Vin Santo into the pan around (but not over) the peaches. The liquid should come no more than a third of the way up the peaches.
- 4. Place the roasting pan on the grill and cook until the peaches are tender but still hold their shape, 25 to 30 minutes. If the peaches are very ripe, they will cook through faster; test them to be sure you don’t overcook them, or they will become mushy. The Vin Santo and water should have reduced to a light glaze; if the mixture evaporates or starts to burn, add a bit more water to prevent scorching.
- 5. When the peaches are done, remove them with a slotted spoon to a platter. If needed, reduce the glaze in a small pot over medium-high heat until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Serve at room temperature, drizzled very lightly with the glaze.
Amaretto-Stuffed Peaches with Vin Santo Glaze Recipe © 2005 Micol Negrin. All rights reserved.