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Lavender

Between days out to keep the children entertained over the summer holidays, and using the good weather to catch up on some of the many things that need to be done in the garden, there hasn’t been a lot of time for cooking in the last couple of weeks.  Instead of spending time in the kitchen, we’ve been out visiting some of our favourite places – Yorkshire Lavender is one we keep going back to.   It’s a beautiful and relaxing place to be on a warm afternoon in July and August, with the lavender in flower and buzzing with bees.

The lavender in the garden is full of bees too, along with the marjoram and cornflowers.  Weeding the herb garden is one job I enjoy – each time I brush against the rosemary or thyme there’s a delicious scent released by the plants.

So, with trips out and the garden taking priority, when it comes to food I’ve been looking for things that are quick and easy to make, but still taste good and make the most of the fresh summer ingredients.  This baked peaches recipe is so simple to make that I wasn’t going to put it on the blog.  But it does make a fantastic quick dessert, and the rest of the family insisted it should make an appearance here – it tasted just so good!

Baked peaches

Good ripe peaches are the key thing.  Cut them in half, drizzle them with maple syrup and sprinkle on some freshly grated nutmeg, add some slices of marzipan and bake.  See, really simple!  They’re sweet, fruity and juicy, and served with a good big spoonful of mascarpone cream, lightly flavoured with lemon, they make a perfect summer dessert.

Peach halves

I’ve been reading the One Ingredient Challenge for some time now, and love the range of recipes ideas each month based around just one ingredient.  The challenge is co-hosted by Nazima at Working London Mummy and Laura at How to Cook Good Food, with peaches being the one ingredient for this month.  So I’m adding my baked peaches to the lovely looking recipes already posted.

Syrup Baked Peaches with Mascarpone Cream

Ripe peaches (1/2 or 1 per person), washed, halved and stones removed

1 tbsp maple syrup per peach

freshly grated nutmeg

about 30g marzipan per peach

a small knob of unsalted butter for each peach half

For the mascarpone cream –

5 tbsp mascarpone

5 tbsp double cream

1 tbsp icing sugar

zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

Preheat the oven to 170oC, 325oF, Gas 3.

Lay the peach halves, cut side up, in an ovenproof dish.  Drizzle ½ tbsp of maple syrup over the cut side of each peach half, and grate some nutmeg over the top.  Slice the marzipan reasonably thinly and lay a couple of slices over each half of the peaches.  Dot the top of the marzipan with a little butter.

Put the dish in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the peaches are tender.

While the peaches are baking, prepare the mascarpone cream by beating together all the ingredients until they start to thicken.  Chill the cream until you are ready to serve the peaches.

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