August is upon us and, almost to compensate for this wistful reminder of summers end, we are rewarded with an abundance of ripening stone fruits. What better way to enjoy your final summer days and this fruitful bounty than to do a little baking?
This is a family recipe passed down to me from my mother, and it came to her from my grandmother. Every woman in my family makes it, for the simple reason that it is the essence of delicious and the soul of easy. Basically, it is fruit combined with whipped cream.
¼ to ½ Cup
Chopped Fruit - Any combination of peaches, nectarines, apricots or plums
*In the earliest summer you can make it with fresh berries or unseasonably in winter with tropical fruit!
Berry Sugar (err on the side of less)
Let’s Get Started!
Blanch & peel nectarines, peaches or apricots. Keep the skin of plums; it is delicious. Stone them & chop them fairly coarsely. Put in a pan, adding a small amount of sugar & heat gently to a near boil. Taste often (cook's privilege) to decide if sugar ok, and if still tastes like fruit. DON'T let it get overcooked! You don't want jam! Remove from stove and allow to cool. When it is cool, whip the cream until it is quite stiff, then fold in the fruit mixture gently but until combined. Chill for a few hours (for example, while you eat dinner). Can be made the night before & refrigerated.
A variation of this I have made for a few years comes from Lucy Waverman. In the early part of your cooking day, you line a sieve with 2 layers of cheesecloth and set it on top of a measuring cup. Into the lined sieve you put an entire 500 gram container of plain, full fat, non-homogenized yogurt (preferably sheep -- tastes more creamy). Folding the cheesecloth over the top, you put a weight (something high-tech like a saucer with a potato in it works great) and let it drip while you get on with your cooking. In a few hours, there will be quite a lot of fluid in the bottom of the measuring cup, and the yogurt will be VERY thick.
Whip the cream as above, then gently stir in the yogurt until well combined. Then add the cooked fruit. This makes for a deliciously tangy dessert as is, or you can also stir in a compatible liqueur: Cointreau for example.