Pesche Fritte – Mascarpone Stuffed Deep Fried Peaches with Vino Cotto

deep fried peaches stuffed with mascarpone

I hate peaches. Their fuzz reminds of the cheap hard plastic toy animals from sideshow alley or cheap jewelry boxes. They also remind me of boarding school desserts and on that note, their association with buttocks creates psychosexual issues ill-suited to a food blog. I was going to use figs but sadly peaches are in season so use them it was.

The recipe is an original creation by Antonio Carluccio in his book Southern Italian Feast. In his recipe he uses the more humble ricotta and I’ve gone and spoiled the principle by using the luxurious northern equivalent of mascarpone. Much of southern Italian cuisine relies on this kind of humble alternative to northern ingredients. Instead of parmesan cheese, they’ll use breadcrumbs. Instead of tomatoes, they’ll make balls out of papier mache and paint them red with paint scraped from postboxes. Not a small point of opprobrium. Visitors from the North of Italy, dodging cars made from two vespas strapped together will shout out the windows of their Maranello sourced cars mangiatori della cassetta postale, abbiamo rinforzare! before roaring off into the trompe l’oeil that pass for tunnels. I feel somehow complicit in this cultural marginalisation by choosing this recipe just to change it, but the recipe does call for three hard boiled egg yolks to be mixed in, which is unusual I think you’ll agree and worth a try.

Here’s how it’s done with slight variations on the original:

Blend 150gm of caster sugar; 220gm of mascarpone, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, and three hard boiled eggs yolks together to make a smooth paste and chill for an hour or two.

Slice four large white fleshed peaches in half and scoop out the stone and make an extra cavity, mix the scooped out flesh with the mascarpone mix. Fill the peach halves with the mix, levelling them off. Crumb in three steps of flour, beaten egg, and breadcrumbs. And then deep-fry in olive oil until golden. I’m not sure of the exact temperature but somewhere just below smoking point (which is lower for live oil than other oils) worked well. You can adjust with the heat or if it’s out of control a little more fresh oil.

Also from the book was vino cotto which they recommend as a sauce. Take 500ml of robust red wine, add 200gm of granulated sugar and reduce over heat to a third. Pour in a jar and chill. I used a Virgin Block 2002 Shiraz, which has a virgin on the label, which is quite refreshingly literal when you think about it. They should have a little caption box with “it’s not you, it’s just I’m not that kind of girl”.

For decoration I mixed equal amounts of mascarpone and cream with sugar to taste and added finely chopped vodka-preserved cumquats. They ended up being a bit dissapointing in appearance, just getting coated with cream rather than being interesting specks of orange. It looked a bit like lumpy toothpaste. My cack-handed use of the piping bag didn’t help matters and surely I can do better than a (punctuated) swirly spiral. Can anyone point me in the direction of a book or a site on doing nice patterns with cream and syrup on a plate?

Quite nice indeed, I think smaller peaches would help with daintiness. I did get my teeth set on edge by the peaches which took away some of the enjoyment. Maybe I’ll use figs next time.

dessert = 'appy punters


  1. FXH’s avatar

    I was wondering if you could do a simple post of links to Xmas recipies etc – either your old stuff or elsewhere that looks alright to you.

    I don’t want to see bloody great hi-res pics two days after xmas of what spiffy stuff you’ve whipped up for the relos and outlaws.

  2. Kate’s avatar

    You HATE peaches?

    Really? I’ve never met anyone who hates peaches before.

    What about nectarines? Apricots? Plums?

  3. Anthony’s avatar

    That’s a nice idea and very christmas spirity.

    Well hate is such a strong word, more a kind of slightly negative ambivalence that will lead me to avoid them if it can be helped. Now you mentio , same goes for all other stone fruits, except cherries, I really like cherries. And mangoes, they’re nice. Is avocado a fruit.

  4. Reid’s avatar

    Hi Anthony,

    I don’t care for peaches either. The dessert does look tasty though.

  5. Kate’s avatar

    Mangoes are a tropical fruit which is different from a stonefruit I reckon.

    Ah well. More peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots for me!

  6. Santos’s avatar

    > their association with buttocks creates psychosexual issues ill-suited to a food blog.

    ah, yes, and the psychosexual issues associated with figs are so much better suited to a food blog.

    > Much of southern Italian cuisine relies on this kind of humble alternative to northern ingredients. Instead of parmesan cheese, they’ll use breadcrumbs. Instead of tomatoes, they’ll make balls out of papier mache and paint them red with paint scraped from postboxes.

    originally this recipe’s ingredients were old pumpkin flesh and cotton wool.

    avocado is a fruit, but botanically classified as a berry, not a stone fruit, which are botanically known as drupes (as in: ‘i’ve been druped into thinking that avocadoes are stone fruits all this time’). the difference is that the avocado’s seed does not have a ‘pit’, or a hard exoskeleton surrounding it. mangoes are drupes, the difference between it and non-tropical stone fruits is that it gets a better tan and it doesn’t go all frizzy in the humidity.

    i would be happy to illustrate nice patterns with cream and syrup on plates for you.

  7. Anthony’s avatar

    Thank you, we are in agreement once again

    Subsets. Wheels inside wheels. Venn diagrams. I think mangoes have a better disposition. Stone fruit has this knife edge between flinty and overripe.

    Figs, a maelstrom of eros in a tear drop.

    I hear Antonio would carry pocketfulls of lint and fluff that he’d saved and cook up a great feast.

    Ah knowledge gold. There was me avacado and my three droops, that is mango, apricot, and peach and we sat in the Korova milkbar

    Yes please.

  8. J’s avatar

    hi anthony, that looks divine…i am no mistress of the artful squiggle, but those plastic squeezy bottles (as prolifically used by thomas keller in the f.l. book) seem to give better control where syrups are concerned…

  9. Anthony’s avatar

    Hi J

    I like how inky black the wine looks, it’s like a tar pit but I think a runnier cream and using the cumquats as sprinkles would have been better..

    Squeezy bottles are in the Anthony Bourdain list of things to have, so thanks for the encouragement – I might go get some today and get squeezing.

    I think I’m the only foody without the French Laundry book, maybe I should stop being so tight and get a few new one’s (after a quick trawl of the second hand bookshops)

  10. Stephanie’s avatar

    I had to read that twice…aloud…to be sure I had it right.


  11. Anthony’s avatar


    Did you do an Orson Welles voice or anything?

  12. Stephanie’s avatar

    Sorry, no…it was more of a ‘Radio Personality’ voice.

  13. McGoo’s avatar

    Georgeffe, Peaches are for jams. Mushed up, mummified with sugar and then simmered beyond recogniton. Great stuff when made with not too much sugar. I still haven’t found any in Tokyo. I had to go all the way to England.
    Uhem, sorry for interupting this blog Georgeffe but forgot about your blog and stumbled upon it whilst looking for food. Hehehe…!! Hisahiburi da ne…

  14. apple of my eye’s avatar

    oh, man–I need to visit you more often! You have such great ideas!

    (Of course, finding the time to try your recipes out is a different story–maybe over the holidays…?)

    You strike me as an inspired and intuitive cook–you should be proud! :)

  15. Anthony’s avatar


    Ooh nice. I’m booking you for podcasting.

    Uyen is that you? Nevermind. Peaches, best left alone. I’m sure they have sugar in tokyo.

    Ahh I wish it’s all just nicking stuff and then messing around with it.

    I read lots and then when you look at something it rings a few bells. I’m proud of this : )

  16. The Daily Magnet’s avatar

    Peaches – psychosexually ass-ociated with buttocks??? D’oh, why did I read this post – now I am going to have some real problems!

  17. Anthony’s avatar

    Don’t get me started on buns

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