Thursday, March 16, 2006

Grilled Peaches, Pashmak and Ice Cream

When I think of modern Australian cuisine, the word "fresh" leaps to mind. Perhaps it's the bevy of Aussie chefs who go on any chance they get about how fresh, seasonal produce makes for the most luscious, tasty food ("Fresh" is quite possibly Kylie Kwong's favourite word -- at one press event I heard her say the word four times in one very long sentence; Neil Perry calls his line of bottled sauces and marinades "Fresh" and he'll tell you that "just because you are time poor, doesn't mean you have to compromise on freshness and flavour"). Not that there's no truth to that. Indeed, Mod Oz cuisine truly is the finest testament that fresh, seasonal produce and flavours is well, best.

These peaches, carted home by CL's mum from their trip to Sydney, are a perfect example of Australia's bountiful harvests. Sweet, plump and perfumed, they were lusciously delicious on their own. But if there's anything I like better than fresh peaches, it's grilled peaches. I love the way the heat caramelises the sugars to render them mellower and those sexy grill marks they leave on the peaches' saffron flesh. For a luxurious touch, I spooned over a generous helping of vanilla ice cream and topped it with a handful of saffron pashmak. Pashmak, by the way, is Persian fairy floss, which CL and I adore and consume in vast quantities when either of us gets a chance to pick up a bag (or three) from Jones the Grocer in Sydney. Unlike regular fairy floss, pashmak is silkier and has a mild, elegant nutty sweetness. On this trip, CL brought three packets home in chocolate, vanilla and the aforementioned saffron. Sadly, she couldn't stay to devour the lot with me, so they sit in the darkness of my cupboard while I munch on them slowly — neat or on top of ice cream. I'm still thinking of other ways to use in them desserts. Suggestions are welcome :-)


Anonymous mumu said...


6:13 pm  
Anonymous GastroChick said...

You're so correct in your observation that Australian cookery favors everything being 'fresh' and in most cases seasonal. I had the good fortune of living in Sydney for a couple of years and found the restaurants. cafes and standard of produce superior to Europe.
I love watching Kelly Kwong on UKTV food her programmes are really inspiring.
BTW the peaches look delicious

8:59 pm  
Blogger MM said...

I love Australian cuisine for the fresh ingredients and approach to cooking. That pashmak sounds incredibly divine! Now you've done it! I don't suppose they have this anywhere in Singapore??? I sooooo need some sugar right now.

2:41 am  
Blogger Docile said...

ya! is there anywhere to get that pashmak in Sg? I'm also looking for turkish delights.

11:38 am  
Anonymous Tania said...

Pashmak?! I've never heard of it, nor "fairy floss". What exactly is it! How does it taste? I'm so intrigued!

11:44 am  
Blogger fooDcrazEE said...

hmm...pashmak looks like chinese dragon beard hairlike candy. R they sweet ?

8:45 pm  
Blogger J said...

yo! you've been busy; looks very beautiful.the next time my dad hands me some japanese or wuxi white peaches i'll pass some over -they taste lovely grilled. just about the only upshot of a constantly travelling companion -apart from the homecoming of course ;) - is the luxury of making desserts to please no one but yourself :)

9:42 pm  
Blogger Claire said...

those peaches look so nice! I want peaches! it's kinda hard to find good peaches in spore isn't it? most of the time they smell really good but are tasteless.

11:35 pm  
Blogger Eggy said...

Hi everyone and thanks plenty for you wonderful compliments. I'm afraid, as far as I know, pashmak isn't available here. If it were, I'd have bought up the lot :-)

Docile, you can get Turkish Delights from The Cellar Door Deli on Upper Bukit Timah Road.

Tania & Foodcrazee, pashmak tastes like fairy floss, just a lot less...sweet. And yes, it is very much like dragon beard candy but silkier and more refined. It's sweetness is kinda nutty and deeper than your normal candy floss.

J, this was just about the easiest thing I made in the last couple of weeks :-) And I'll take you up on those peaches too! Since M is away this weekend, I might try another Pierre Herme recipe. My Plasir Sucre was a bit of a disaster cos it took too much time and I got lazy... tell you about it in detail sometime

Clare, you can get good peaches in Singapore, but they tend to be quite expensive. I once paid $16 for 2 peaches. I wasn't really thinking when I handed over the cash. Only when i walked out of the store did i think, "Did I really just do that?". That said, there seems to be more peaches on the supermarket shelves these days, though they just don't look as good as those in the crates you find in the markets of temperate countries.

1:30 am  
Anonymous ac said...

hey which brand of vanilla ice cream would you recommend?

7:53 pm  
Anonymous ac said...

hey which brand of vanilla ice cream would you recommend?

7:53 pm  
Blogger eatzycath said...

i've never grilled peaches before, and am thoroughly enlightened by your picture and post :)

11:18 pm  
Blogger Eggy said...

Hi AC, hagan daaz or kapiti is pretty good to me.

11:19 pm  
Blogger Eggy said...

Thanks Eatzycath!

11:21 pm  
Anonymous Lynn said...

I haven't tasted pashmak before. But the picture and texture reminds me of SoanPapdi: made from chickpea flour and has a mellow taste of cardamon, pistachios and rose essence. I don't know whether they sell it in Little India. But when I was in India it came in the loose form and looked like the pashmak. Here in UK, it is sold in the indian sweet shops. Go try it, I usually can eat the whole box!

4:04 am  
Anonymous bea at La Tartine Gourmande said...

This looks so nice. I fully agree with you, Fresh is what comes to my mind too. When I lived in New Zealand, I was very exposed to Australian cooking through various magazines etc and loved it tremendously. Same when I travelled there.

8:33 am  
Blogger Sam said...

I think I need some Pashmak.

Australia is one of my favourite ever food destinations. I had some wicked meals there.

Australia has suffered badly from the weather today. I am keeping my fingers crossed for their well being.

8:36 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

fairy floss???

5:09 am  
Anonymous S said...

Oh God, I adore pashmak too. I remember trying it for the first time at MG Garage. Absolutely had to get more of it! Yum

11:35 pm  

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