I picked up a couple of punnets of nectarines in the shops on Saturday. They looked so good sitting there and nectarines are one of Todd's favourite fruits.
I do confess. I like them too.
Once I got them home though and inspected them a bit closer, I realized that these "ripen at home" stone fruits were never going to ripen at home . . . I could tell that they would stay hard as could be and then by the time they were soft enough to each out of hand they would actually be mealy and tasteless . . .
Tis an all too familiar story, that I read far more often than I would like I'm afraid. Why oh why do the grocery shops do that to us. I am sure that they spray these fruits with something to retard their ripening so as to keep them on the shelves longer . . . and in the process actually ruin the fruit completely . . . sigh . . .
I then had the brilliant idea to cook them. I felt that cooking them would bring out all those beautiful nectarine flavour!!!
Actually when cooking with fruit, they should be a bit on the hard side in my opinion in order to be at their best.
I thought at first a crumble of sorts . . . we do love our crumbles here.
But then I felt a bit lazy and so I just bunged them into a baking dish, poured some sweetened vanilla cream over top and dusted them with toasted flaked almonds.
Easy peasy, lemon squeazy. Hot dang!!! These were scrummily delish!Q Just goes to prove that it is usually the simplest of things in life that brings us the most pleasure . . .
*Nectarines Baked in Cream*
Quite simply tasty.
6 fresh nectarines
300ml of double cream (a generous cup)
4 ounces caster sugar (a generous half cup)
1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthwise or 1 tsp vanilla paste
a generous handful of toasted flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Lightly butter a shallow baking dish, large enough to hold all the fruit.
Skin the nectarines by dropping them into boiling water for a few minutes. After a few minutes, the skins should just slip off. Remove the stones by running a knife blade around the fruit and then twisting the two halves in the opposite direction. Discard stones and cut each half in half again, to give you quarters. Drop them into the prepared dish.
Heat the cream over medium low heat, along with the sugar and Vanilla pod or Vanilla paste ( if using). Heat only until the sugar is dissolved. Pour this mixture over top of the nectarines, leaving the vanilla pod in if you used one. Sprinkle the flaked almonds over top.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the fruit is gorgeously tender. Allow to cool before serving.