|"Peaches from Prato" (Pesche di Prato) is a famous Tuscan's pastry. The history of this delicious dessert goes back to 1861 when it was first served during the Italian Unification Celebration dinner in the Piazza del Duomo in Prato (Italy).
The cooking process of “Peaches from Prato” is not as tedious as it appears to be at first glance. You just need to knead the dough 2 times taking long breaks in between – the rest of the process is fast and simple.
|Dough (peaches halves):
- Milk 10 oz (300 ml);
- Flour 28 oz (800g);
- Butter 3.5 oz (100g);
- Brewers’ yeast 1.8 oz (50g);
- Sugar 3.5 oz (100g);
- 3 eggs (plus one egg for brushing);
- Zest from 1 lemon;
- Milk 24 oz (700ml);
- Sugar 8.8 oz (250g);
- 4 eggs;
- Flour (4 tbsp);
- Zest from 1 lemon;
You will also need 3 oz (100ml) of good liqueur for coating. I usually use blackcurrant liqueur «Crème de cassis», but if you can find something like “Alkermes” it will color your pastry in a nice red color.
|STEPS ("Peaches halves"):
- Mix 10.5 oz (300g) of flour, 6 oz (200ml) of milk, brewer’s yeast and 1.8 oz (50g sugar). Knead the dough, form the ball, cover with napkin and set aside in the warm place until the ball has doubled in size (approximately 2 hours)
- Add the remaining flour, sugar, milk and melted butter, eggs and lemon zest to the dough. Add a pinch of salt. Mix and knead. Set aside for another couple of hours until your dough doubles in size.
- Make walnut-sized balls out of the dough and leave them to rise for another 30 minutes;
- Place them on a baking tray, brush with a beaten egg and bake in the oven at 250° F for 20-30 minutes (or until golden);
- Remove from the oven; let them to cool and, using the knife, carve a 1 inch wide pit in the flat side of each “peach half “(be careful not to cut it through!);
- Coat them with a mix of water and liqueur (50/50), sprinkle with sugar;
- Fill each half with cream and assemble the halves together;
- Decorate with mint leaves or candied cherry;
- Beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture has thickened and turned to a very pale yellow;
- Add flour;
- Bring milk to a boil and pour the milk in a steady, thin stream to the egg mixture, whisking constantly;
- Take the mixture to a low heat and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, whisking constantly until it thickens;
- Leave it to cool down;