On Christmas day there is enough preparation that goes into the food, table setting, gifts and decorations. Keep the dessert simple with this summer refresher. Executive Chef Matteo Zamboni shares his recipe for a nectarine and peach dessert that is new to our summer menu at Jonah’s.
“I love this time of the year when peaches and stone fruit become available. In Italy we don’t have the opportunity to use these fruits during the Christmas season because of the cold weather, but since I’ve been living here in Australia, I have grown an appreciation for a Christmas in the summer. I now see Christmas dining in a new light and this dessert is fresh, simple and versatile,” says Matteo.
In his home town of Brescia the family gets together to prepare the Christmas lunch. Given that December in the North of Italy can bring sub zero temperatures; the lunch consists of warming dishes like a Minestra Sporca or chicken broth made with chicken livers. For main course Matteo’s family makes a Spiedo Bresciano- various cuts of meat including pork neck, ribs, rabbit, chicken and quail, roasted on an open fire rotisserie at home. The meat is basted in butter and is traditionally served at special occasions with polenta. What would an Italian Christmas be without a Panettone? The iconic Italian dessert is often rivalled by its counterpart the Pandoro and is served for dessert.
“It’s always a debate in Italian families whether the Panettone or the Pandoro is better. If you like candied fruit, the Panettone is for you. If you prefer a classic option with no fruit, the Pandoro is a more basic version topped with icing sugar,“ explains Matteo.
This year, whether you’re enjoying a traditional roast turkey and ham, or a summer bbq of seafood and salads, this Jonah’s dessert is a sure fire way to impress your guests at the end of the meal.
Nectarine & Peach Dessert
sage ice cream, vanilla crème fraiche
The beauty of this dessert is that it is served cold so the ice cream, sage syrup and peach compote can be made the day before so you are prepared in advance. One less thing to worry about on Christmas day!
• 500g milk
• 40g glucose
• 250g white chocolate
• 200g cream
• 40g sage
Sage Infused Nectarine
• 2 nectarines
• 125g sugar
• 125g water
• ½ bunch sage
• 4 Peaches
• ¼ of a vanilla pod
• 25g sugar
• 1 loaf of brioche bread
• 50g butter
• 8 sage leaves
• 125g creme fraiche
• ¼ of a vanilla pod
Sage Ice cream:
Note- If you don’t have an ice cream machine this can be replaced by store bought vanilla or yoghurt ice cream/gelato. Matteo recommends Riva Reno gelateria.
1. Combine milk, glucose, white chocolate, cream, sage and stabiliser in a bowl. Refrigerate overnight.
2. Cook the mixture at 65 degrees celsius for 1.5 hours or until all ingredients have melted and disolved
3. Churn in your ice cream machine until frozen and store in the freezer
Sage Infused Nectarine:
4. Boil sugar and water until dissolved
5. Add sage and cover to rest for 1.5 hours. Sage can then be removed and if preparing the day before, store the syrup in the fridge
6. Finely dice nectarines and submerge in the syrup. Leave to cool in the fridge for two hours before serving
7. Chop peaches into eighths and combine in a pot with vanilla and sugar
8. Cook on a low heat, stirring, until peaches are soft
9. Leave the mixture to cool
10. Finely dice brioche into cubes
11. Heat enough butter in a pan to shallow fry the brioche cubes. Fry until toasted and golden in colour.
12. Leave to cool on a paper towel
13. Gently fry the sage leaves for 10 seconds or until crisp. Leave to cool on a paper towel.
14. Whip creme fraiche and vanilla pod to combine
15. Layer the peach compote in the bottom of a glass. Top with creme fraiche, and spoon the nectarine on top. Sprinkle the brioche cubes and garnish with toasted sage leaves.