Peaches and Cream
Adapted from Ad Hoc at Home (Artisan, 2009)
This classic pairing is the essence of summer. Multiple–JBF Award winner Thomas Keller takes it to a new level with his mousse-like mascarpone cream. Make the cream up to a day in advance; then it’s simply a matter of slicing the peaches and tossing them with lemon and balsamic vinegar to balance the sweetness.
- Mascarpone Cream:
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 pounds ripe peaches, preferably freestone
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Tondo balsamic vinegar (see note)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add 1/4 cup of the sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a bowl. (It is not necessary to wash the mixer bowl or whisk.)
Add the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar to mixer bowl and whisk until pale and thick. Whisk in the mascarpone cheese. Transfer to a large bowl.
Wash the mixer bowl and whisk, using cold water to chill them. Dry and return to the mixer stand. Add the heavy cream and whisk until medium peaks form. Fold one-third of the cream into the yolk mixture to lighten it, then fold in another third followed by the remaining cream. Fold in the whites one-third at a time until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
Just before serving, slice each peach in half, twist the halves to separate, and remove and discard the pits. Cut each peach half into 4 to 5 slices. Put in to a bowl and toss with lemon zest, lemon juice, and balsamic.
Spoon some of the cream into a serving bowl. Top with the peaches, and garnish with more cream. Serve the remaining cream on the side.