Nigel Slater

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I am a big fan of Nigel Slater’s cooking and writing style. I love reading his column in the Observer newspaper.  For me he is a food writer who evokes each season so beautifully and all my senses are engaged when I read the descriptions of his recipes. His memoir Toast, the story of his childhood and adolescence told through food, was one of my favourite reads of last year.

Just look at this wonderful description of his approach to peaches from today’s Observer ” baking the usually softly flavoured fruits with sugar and almonds until their edges browned. Their flesh glistening with butter and caramelised sugar, they shone in both the visual and taste senses.”

And here is Nigel’s recipe for those peaches, which I am going to try next time I find some nice ripe fruit.

Baked peaches with an almond crust

This rough, buttery almond crust works with nectarines and apricots, too. Just scatter it over the halved and stoned fruit just before baking. Serves 4.

4 ripe peaches or nectarines
50g shelled almonds
50g golden caster sugar
45g butter

Set the oven at 180C/gas mark 4. Wipe the peaches or nectarines and cut them in half. Tug out the stone, then place the halved fruits cut-side up in a shallow baking dish. Put the almonds in a food processor – there is no need to skin them – and blitz them. They should be somewhere between gravel and traditional ground almonds. (You just want them to lend a crunch to the soft fruit.) Add the sugar and butter and briefly continue to mix. Spoon the almond mixture on top of the peaches and bake for 45 minutes or until the fruit is melting soft and the top is crisp. An occasional basting with the buttery juices can only help.

 Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers starts on Wednesday 9 September at 7.30pm on BBC1 and I for one will be glued to the series.

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