Andrew McConnell from stellar Melbourne restaurant Cutler & Co dishes up a sublime dessert of white peaches scented with elderflower, and a dreamy lightly set cream.
Elderflowers grow profusely in the South Island of New Zealand, and there are several manufacturers making elderflower cordial, including the award-winning South Canterbury company Addmore.
175 ml (6 fluid ounces) cream
70 g (2-3 ounces) sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 leaves gold-strength gelatine
350 g ((12 ounces) fromage blanc
175 ml (6 fluid ounces) thickened cream, whipped
100 g (3 ounces) sugar
100 ml (3½ fluid ounces) water
2 Tbsp elderflower cordial
4 perfectly ripe white peaches
1 For the fromage blanc: place the cream, sugar, scraped vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. In a small bowl, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for a few minutes until they are soft.
2 Squeeze the water out of the gelatine and whisk it into the hot cream until it has dissolved. Remove from the heat and leave to cool to room temperature. Remove the vanilla pod. Whisk the fromage blanc to smooth out any lumps, then gradually stir through the cooled vanilla cream. Finally, fold in the whipped cream and refrigerate until set.
3 To prepare the peaches: bring the sugar and water to a simmer in a small saucepan, then remove from the heat and add the elderflower cordial. Peel and slice the peaches into wedges. Stir a few tablespoons of elderflower syrup through the peaches and leave them to macerate in the fridge for 20 minutes.
4 To serve, place a large tablespoon of fromage blanc in each bowl, topped with a few pieces of peach and a spoonful of elderflower syrup over the top.
Recipe by Andrew McConnell Cutler & Co restaurant from The Great Australian Cookbook