We may not have had any peaches from the Hill Country this year, but the few freestones I’ve had from my neighborhood H-E-B and the farmers markets have been juicy yet firm. Even better, they have been full of flavor.
The better the peach, the better this dessert is.
In recent years, a growing number of chefs have played with the classic Italian tiramisu recipe, adding fruit and complementary liqueurs while subtracting the cocoa powder and the espresso. This version uses amaretto in both the creamy mascarpone mixture and the syrup. It’s a little sweeter, but the lively combination of fresh peaches and liqueur makes all the difference. (Peach brandy, Frangelico and cherry-flavored kirshwasser are other liqueurs that could be used to good effect.)
I served this at a recent Bible study, and by the end of the evening, only a spoonful was left.
Make sure you make this dish a day in advance to allow the flavors a chance to coalesce.
Amaretto Peach Tiramisu
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar or agave nectar, divided use
6-7 large peaches, peeled and cut into slices
6 tablespoons amaretto, divided use, or more, to taste
3 eggs, separated
1 pound mascarpone, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2 ounces toasted almonds
Cinnamon, for garnish, optional
Heat water and 1/4 cup sugar until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Add peaches and bring back to a boil. If you want the peaches firm, cook for only 1 minute or so. If you want the peaches really soft, cook for at least 5 minutes or until desired texture is reached. Remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons amaretto, or more to taste. Strain the fruit, reserving the syrup.
Whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar until streaks form. Slowly add mascarpone and the remaining 3 tablespoons amaretto, stirring until all lumps disappear. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Slowly fold the stiff egg whites into the yolk mixture.
Dip half of the ladyfingers in the syrup and line the bottom of a 9-by-13-by-2-inch pan. Cover with half of the peaches. Top with a layer of the mascarpone mixture. Add another layer of syrup-dipped ladyfingers. Add remaining peaches, then cover fully with the remaining mascarpone. Refrigerate overnight. Before serving, top with toasted almonds and a dusting of cinnamon, if using.