Happy New Year! Hasn’t the stone fruit been great this Summer? An excellent growing season has meant bumper crops and low prices. The cherries have been the best I’ve had in at least half a dozen years and my favourite, nectarines, have been great. Although I also enjoy peaches, they can be a bit hit and miss. Sometimes they are sweet and juicy and other times, they are hard, flavourless fuzz balls. This year though, they’ve been amazing.
I’m lucky enough to have a very good fruit shop close by so when I want the ‘good stuff’, this is where I go. I may have been a bit exuberant in my Christmas purchasing so have lots extra on hand. Perfect then for making Peach Bellinis – a classic celebration drink, using fresh peach puree and a sparkling wine.
There is a lot of folklore and mystique woven around the legend of the Bellini though it is generally accepted that it was invented by Giuseppe Cipriani, owner of Harry’s Bar on Plaza San Marco in Venice. Traditionally, the Bellini uses white peaches and Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine but yellow peaches and any good sparkling make a decent substitute.
1 glass Prosecco or good sparkling wine per person
1/2 peach per person
- Cut a small cross at the bottom of each peach and plunge into boiling water for 30 seconds, then refresh in cold water (this helps to loosen the skins)
- Remove skin from peach, dice peach into a blender or food processor, blitz for 30 seconds
- Place a few tablespoons of peach puree into a champagne flute and then carefully top up with sparkling wine (it will froth)
- You can keep the separate layers of peach and wine or gently stir to combine for a peach coloured cocktail
- Best drunk in celebration with friends
This post is dedicated to Barbara Harris from winosandfoodies, who passed away in 2012. Barb told me she enjoyed fresh Peach Bellinis as part of Christmas breakfast each year, with her family. Cheers Barb.