Welcoming Autumn

In the northern hemisphere, September 22 marks the autumn equinox, the moment when daylight and darkness are in balance. Before we slip into the shorter days of autumn, it is time to enjoy the last of the season’s bounty.

Nectarines and peaches have been plentiful this year.  This month we’ve stuffed and baked them with an almond filling for a simple dessert or brunch dish. And for lovers of the combination of chocolate and almonds, we have a recipe for a memorably fudgy double chocolate almond brownie.

Bakes Stuffed Nectarines

FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Baked Nectarines with Orange Almond Filling

Apricots, peaches, plums and nectarines lend themselves to baking.  The oven’s heat brings out their rich aromas. Fresh breadcrumbs give the filling a light tender texture.  This filling is made by grinding sliced bread in a food processor.  Crumbs from a plain white or butter cake would also be delicious but you might like to reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup to compensate for the added sweetness.

Select ripe fruits for the best flavor. Old world stone ware and heavy gauge ceramic makes great bakeware because it conducts a slow steady heat into foods.  In the case of these nectarines, the steady heat helps cook the fruit gently while the crust browns.   Delicious straight from the oven, these baked stuffed nectarines keep in the refrigerator for a day or two and can be reheated before serving.

Baked Nectarines with Orange Almond Filling

FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Almond Fudge Brownies

Almond Fudge Brownies

There is a surprising complexity to a brownie that is made with a combination of chocolates.  Unsweetened bitter chocolate contributes richness and cocoa powder an intense deep chocolaty taste.  You’d think that the almond flavor would be overpowered.  Instead the almond paste contributes its delicate aroma and creamy texture to these sophisticated brownies.

If you’re a fan of sweet and salty, toss the ground almonds with a pinch of kosher salt before sprinkling them on the batter.

Almond Fudge Brownies

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