The Vancouver summer dwindles away most notably as dusk is upon us earlier. Although there are never enough hours in the day, I always panic a little because now, the days seem even shorter to fit in all I have to do. Summers are always busy for me, and a hot kitchen is a far cry from a beach or a deck chair on a dock. Alas, such is the life of a chef and the owner of a catering company!
The gage of a good summer to me, is how often I am in or by large bodies of water; I exclude hot tubs and baths.
This summer I have fallen madly for another refreshing wet fix after a hard day with two of my favorite things. Wine and peaches = Bellinis! This perfect pair has rescued me from the days that I don’t have the time or energy to be revitalized by the water’s side.
I think there is something exotic about this cocktail that mentally transports me to its city of origin just after the elxir touches my tounge. This sublime flavor of summer bottled has been a sanctuary for moments alone or reuniniting with friends and family at events.
This cocktail originated in Venice, Italy. The Bellini was invented sometime between 1934 and 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy. The drink was named the Bellini because of its unique pink color which reminded him of the toga of a saint in a painting by 15th-century Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini.
The Bellini consists of puréed peaches and Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine. Marinating fresh peaches in wine is an Italian tradition. The original recipe was made with a bit of raspberry or cherry juice to give the drink a pink glow. For a non-alcoholic version, sparkling juice or seltzer is used in place of the Prosecco.
As summer turns cool on us, the Bellini will take a back seat to the usual glass of red comfort at the end of a chilly day with dinner. Later, by the fire, I can tuck into a scoop of this Peach Processco ice cream and dream of the summer days ahead with a chilled Bellini in hand.
4 ounces fresh ripe B.C. peaches hulled & skinned
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup prosecco
2/3 cup superfine sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
18 ounces frozen sliced peaches
Place the fresh peaches, heavy cream, sugar and lemon juice in the blender in the order listed. Select the lowest setting and gradually increase the speed to SPEED 4. Blend until sugar is fully dissolved, about 45 seconds.
Add frozen peaches to blender. Select low setting, and gradually increase the speed to SPEED 5 and blend until ice cream is smooth, about 1 minute. Use tamper as needed to stir the ice cream mixture and push it down.
Serve immediately, or freeze for several hours if firmer texture is desired.
If you don’t have superfine sugar in your pantry, you can use your blender to achieve the same texture using granulated sugar. Place 1 cup granulated sugar in a dry blender jar. Pulse repeatedly until superfine texture is reached, 45 to 60 seconds. (To make powdered sugar, pulse for 75 to 90 seconds.) Reserve extra 1/3 cup of sugar for another use.