Dinners at my place can be decadently planned or slightly off the cuff. This weekend Mr. David and I were planning dinner when my daughter surprised us by inviting herself. I hadn’t planned on dessert – but looked around my kitchen and realized I had most of the ingredients to make this lovely fruit stuffing from Alice Water’s Chez Panisse Fruit cookbook. It is the perfect example of the restaurants style of showcasing the best of something – in this case nectarines. She writes that this versatile stuffing can also be used for peaches, apricots, pluots, apples, and pears.


Pistachio-Stuffed Nectarines

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

4 tablespoons sugar

1 egg yolk

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon orange liqueur

3/4 cup chopped pistachio nuts

1/2 cup sponge cake crumbs

6 medium nectarines

1/4 dessert wine (Muscat or Sauternes)

Preheat the oven to 375*F.

To make the filling, cream the butter with 2 tablespoons sugar. Add the egg yolk and the salt and beat until fluffy. Beat in the orange liqueur, the chopped nuts, and the sponge cake crumbs.

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Butter a 2-quart baking dish. Cut the nectarines in half and remove the pits. Arrange the nectarines in the dish, cut side up. Fill the cavity of each nectarine with stuffing. Drizzle the wine over and around the nectarines. Sprinkle the nectarines with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until the fruit is tender, about 30 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or creme anglaise.

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