Author Notes: I rarely think to serve raw peaches for dessert, even during peak season. The allure of peaches baked into a pie, tart, or cobbler is hard to resist. But this grown-up version of a fruity gelatin mold has happily changed my thinking. I liberally adapted a terrine recipe from Gourmet that features mixed fruit and prosecco, but I've taken a detour to Spain by macerating the peaches in sherry, using cava instead of prosecco, dialing back the sugar, and adding orange peel and honey for depth of flavor. In the spirit of summer, the only step that requires the stove is making the aspic (and that takes just a few minutes) – and from there, all you need to do is assemble the terrine, which couldn't be easier. The result is a light, refreshing, and absolutely beautiful summertime dessert.
- 4 cups thinly sliced peaches, from about 5 medium-sized peaches; no need to peel
- 2 tablespoons sherry
- 3 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 2 cups cava
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon orange juice + 3 long strips of zest, from 1 orange
- In bowl, combine peach slices with sherry. Let macerate while proceeding with Step 2.
- Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup cava in a small bowl and let stand 1 minute to soften. Bring 1 cup cava to a boil with sugar, honey, and orange peel in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, and discard orange peel. Add gelatin mixture to saucepan, whisking until dissolved. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup cava and orange juice, then transfer to a metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and cold water. Cool mixture, stirring occasionally, just to room temperature.
- Arrange fruit in a 1½ quart terrine or loaf pan (e.g., 9”x5”) with a ceramic, glass, enameled, or nonstick surface.
- Slowly pour mixture over fruit, then chill, covered, until firm, at least 6 hours.
- To unmold, dip pan in a larger pan of hot water about 5 seconds to loosen. Invert a serving plate over terrine and invert terrine onto plate. (Terrine can be made up to 3 days in advance; unmold just before serving.)
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dish in the Raw