Tuesday, 1 November 2011

How to make the original Bellini (peach Bellini)

I have already posted on the subject of my experiments with various fruits suitable for making Bellini cocktails. Find my post here:

Having visited our local Majestic Wine Warehouse, we discovered they have a nice selection of Prosecco wines which are of very good quality for a reasonable price of £8-9. Of course, we could choose to enjoy the Prosecco just the way it is, but during a rare last bit of sunshine just before the sun chooses to disappear for 6 months, we thought it was a good time to have a last blast of Bellinis.

So this time, rather than the ready mixed stuff available in bars and grocers in Venice, we thought we’d make them ourselves from scratch. I’d seen Jamie Oliver make Bellinis during his series on Italian food. He found some very light coloured, flat shaped peaches which were so ripe, he was able to squeeze the juice out with his hands (using a chopping board to apply the pressure). Sadly, such peaches are not available in British supermarkets, so we looked for something ripe which we could puree with a juicer.

Here’s what we did....

 First peel and stone your peaches. These peaches didn’t want to give up their stones easily, so I had to chop around the stones, which is the reason they are cut up in small chunks. It is probably not necessary to do this.

 Then put through an electric juicer or liquidiser. My juicer is very powerful and mushed the small quantity of fruit so quickly that it didn’t take all the juice out. So I put the pulp back through the machine to get as much juice as possible.

It would appear that my previous post is incorrect in stating that the Bellini is served in a
‘Collins’ type glass. That is the impression I had from my previous research. It would appear that a Champagne flute (which I had in any event used, since I don’t have any glasses of the ‘Collins’ shape and size) is correct.

We put 3 tablespoons of peach puree in each (small) Champagne glass and then topped up with Prosecco. You need to add the fizzy wine slowly or it will bubble up over the top of the glass.

The result could have been better if we had access to riper, softer peaches. Ours were a little bland. Had we known in advance, we could have added a little peach schnapps or peach nectar to beef up the flavour. Perhaps we could have used peaches which were not ‘white’ peaches (although the traditional recipe calls for them, we are not in Italy with access to sweet, juicy, ultra ripe fruits).

That is not to say they were a failure. We did enjoy them, as a little drop of fizzy and a little bit of decadence is always a good thing!

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