peach and blue cheese crumble
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I like a savoury take on a dessert dish. You expect a roasted peach, honey and pillows of whipped cream or mascarpone and here’s blue cheese with its sharp, salty sting. The crumble should be sweet but it’s not, it’s plain and cinnamoney.
I’m never too sure what to do with peaches. As fruit goes, they are a bit weird: overgrown apricots, apples with a stone, sweet avocados. Can’t jam them (why?), not good to put on a cake (or are they?) or to juice (hmm – no), all they ever feature in is a horribly old fashioned peach melba or an awfully poncy poached peach with amaretto compote or some such concoction. Skin them or not? Eat with a knife and fork like my Gran or bite into it and get covered in juice all over? In truth the only application of the thing that appeals is in a savoury manner.
Try making a peach salsa for a duck magret – that’s right, duck a la pèche. Quarter it and skewer on a kebab stick alternating it with pork tenderloin and fatty bacon – you’re in for an exceptional barbecue. Peach and breadcrumb stuffing for game? One to try soon. Peach and blue cheese – and that’s exactly what we have here.
It can be a smart starter or a pudding for a sugar-spurning party. It could be a pre-dessert, a cheese course substitute – or simply a damn nice lunch which is how I had it.
peach and blue cheese crumbleServings: 2-4Time: about 40 minutes
- 2 large ripe peaches
- 4 tsp honey
- 120g (scant cup) plain flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 90g (6tbsp.) salted butter, diced
- 120g (4oz) Picos blue, Roquefort or Gorgonzola
- balsamic vinegar, to serve
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. Cut the peaches in half and remove the stones. Place them, cut side up, on an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with salt and drop a teaspoon of honey into each stone dip. Bake for 20 minutes.
In the meantime prepare the crumble: place the flour, cinnamon and ½ tsp salt in a bowl and rub the butter in until the mix just starts to clump together.
Remove the peaches from the oven and turn it up to 210C/425F/gas 7. Place a chunk of blue cheese (about 20g) into each peach half and rub the remaining cheese into the crumble. Pile the crumble over the peach halves in mounds. Return the dish into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until the crumble is crisp and golden.
Let it stand for a few minutes before serving, or serve at room temperature. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over and around the peach.