Monday, 2 January 2017

Peachy keen

Tis’ the season!
Hold the tinsel, because I am actually referring to stone fruit season – is that not worthy of immense celebration and elation?!
This year I was particular excited when I saw stone fruit start to emerge in the shops, but I wanted to get my hands on some beauties straight from the grower – as they just always seems to taste better.
That’s how I came to meet the lovely Tim and Wilma Byl from Valley View Orchard, Roleystone.
The Byls have been growing fruit in WA since the early 1950s, with Tim, Wilma and their five children now taking up the helm with the help of Tim’s parents Adrian and Thea.
They grow a variety of stone fruit and apples, pears, persimmons and citrus fruit and the family is a perfect example of how generational growers have adapted to stay viable.
While they still supply a majority of fruit to the Canning Vale Markets, the Byls also attend farmers markets such as City Farm and Poynter Farmers Market in Duncraig and have developed a customer-direct service through their website.
Through that service, they now supply boxes of fresh fruit to many businesses within the Perth CBD.
I called Wilma trying to get my hands on a box of peaches and the lads and I drove out to collect them, leaving also with a box of beautiful nectarines, some magnificent apricots, three very excited lads and the warm fuzzy feeling you get after meeting some genuinely nice people.
Here’s a tip I picked up on our visit- one sure fire way to tell if you’re buying local nectarines is to check the sticker – look for “WA nectarines” rather than just those brandishing “Australian”, as they are likely to have come from across the border.
Anyway with so much stone fruit at the ready, I could finally get this trifle recipe out of my head and into reality.

Peach Trifle
1 sponge cake or about 12 savoiardi biscuits
½ cup cream sherry
2 cups custard (if you make it from scratch, I add a few peach pips in the saucepan for that extra peachy flavour)
8 peaches, halved and pitted
50g butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup cream
125g marscapone
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup flaked almonds, roasted
½ cup blueberries

To prepare the peaches, pre-heat the oven to about 220C and place the butter in the bottom of a baking dish.
Place in the oven until the butter has melted, then add the peaches and sprinkle with brown sugar.
Roast for about 10 minutes.
When they are cool enough to handle, peel and slice into segments.
If using a whole sponge, cut the cake into small slices as you would normally slice a cake and press them firmly into a trifle bowl.
Drizzle with cream sherry, before adding your custard layer. Adjust the amount according to your preference.
Once the peaches have cooled, layer them on top of the custard.
Place the cream, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla into a mixer and whisk until firm (but not too firm).
Layer on top of the peaches, before adorning with blueberries and almonds.
Take a step back and appreciate the beauty, before plonking it on the table to a round of applause from your guests.

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