img_0440In my last post, I mentioned a dessert I hoped to make at the restaurant in August if I had perfect peaches to work with: baked peaches with amaretti cookies. The truth is, it’s still a great dessert even with imperfect peaches. And if there are still peaches in your market, I highly recommend giving this one a try. Actually, this might be the best time of year to make it because although it’s made with warm-weather peaches, to me it’s perfect on a cool September night like tonight.

The recipe is an Italian classic, memorialized by countless Italian cooks and cookbook writers. My version is derived from Rachel Roddy’s wonderful book My Kitchen in Rome, which deserves a blog post in its own right. The only place I differ from Rachel is in cooking time. She recommends a 40-minute bake time. I like even longer, at least an hour, or even more depending on the oven. I like them really concentrated, though not burned.

The only challenging thing about this recipe is finding amaretti cookies, especially finding the best ones. For many years I used a domestic brand, which was fine. But when I finally used a high quality imported brand, the difference was obvious. Amaretti are made from bitter almonds, and good ones taste of it. Here is the one I’ve been using recently.

Baked Peaches with Amaretti Cookies

  1. Slice three or four peaches in half, scoop out the pit, and place skin side down in a baking dish.
  2. Combine 6 crushed amaretti cookies with ¼ cup sugar (white or raw), 1 egg yolk, a little lemon zest, and 4 tablespoons softened salted butter.
  3. Spoon the filling into each cavity and bake at 375 for one hour, or even longer. The peaches should be concentrated and maybe a tiny bit crisp at the edges.
  4. Serve immediately or later at room temperature.