For many years La Merenda, a tiny restaurant near the Cours Selaya market in Nice, was considered by many to be one of the city’s finest bistros, renown for the simple preparation of perfect ingredients. There long ago, I tasted as lovely a dessert as I have ever encountered: an ordinary sounding “compote” of raspberries and peaches, stunning in its simplicity. It had a surprising twist that utterly transformed summer’s two perfect ingredients, at their peak right now.
The raspberries were crushed with a fork rather than pureed, leaving their texture intact and providing a wonderfully elemental effect. A bit of lemon juice and sugar are transforming catalysts that heighten the flavor of any fruit. The perfectly ripe peaches were white ones with the characteristic haunting fragrance, with overtones of vanilla. They were simply tossed with the coarse sauce whose slight acidity enhanced their extraordinary flavor. Yellow peaches work fine, as long as they are ripe.
For 6 servings:
2 cups fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
6 ripe peaches
In a medium bowl mash the raspberries with the sugar and lemon juice with a fork until coarsely crushed.
Just before serving, peel the peaches, slice into 1/2 inch slices and toss with the puree to coat. Serve at once.
photo via Huppie Mama