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We tried this Peach Bellini at one of our Cuisinette meals when we carried the first River Cafe Cookbook we could get our hands on at La Cuisine in 1998. My copy is falling apart, it’s been used so much. Should you visit London, I think the restaurant is worth the splurge. Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray were two women who did not have to cook, but their love of Italian food formed a bond that drove this exceptional restaurant into existence. I remember seeing Rose in pink sneakers, grilling fish right in the restaurant dining room (Rose died in 2010 and you should read her remarkable obituary from The Guardian). And in the meantime check out the restaurant’s website and enjoy its down-to-earth recipe videos and remarkable story. Their version of this iconic Italian summer cocktail is our favorite. If your yellow peaches are ripe, the skins (which are left on in the process) give the drink a beautiful pink hue. The roasting brings a depth of flavor missing in other Bellini recipes. You can make the roasted peach purée ahead of time, but the bubbly goes in right before serving. Goes well with any salted nut or olive nibble.
- 8 ripe yellow peaches
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1 shot of Vecchio Romagna Brandy or a similar French Brandy - about 2 tablespoons
- 1 bottle Prosecco, just out of the fridge
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Halve the peaches and remove the pits but do not peel them.
- Place half the peaches in an oven proof baking dish and sprinkle with sugar and brandy.
- Cover them with foil and seal the edges.
- Bake the peaches for about 15-20 minutes.- they should become slightly softer and the juices there will be juices in the bottom of the baker.
- Remove them from the oven and allow to cool
- Put the roasted peaches, juices and the remaining uncooked ones in a food processor and roughly puree them.
- Push the pulp through a fine sieve.- I use a spoonula for quickest results.
- Using a cocktail shaker or a pitcher, pour in about 3-4 cups of the puree and add the same amount of Prosecco.
- Less puree to cold prosecco makes more of a cocktail type drink and less of a fruit shake.
- Stir with a long spoon to combine (and also prevent the combination from fizzing over.
- Gently pour through the lid of the cocktail shaker or pitcher into champagne coupes.
- YOu can use a crémant instead of prosecco.
- The puree base can be made in the morning or the day before.
After owning one of the best cooking stores in the US for 47 years, Nancy Pollard writes a blog about food in all its aspects – recipes, film, books, travel, superior sources and food related issues.