A new look at a classic Italian bread salad, kicked up another notch with lemon pound cake!!
A traditional Panzanella is made with day old bread, tomatoes and dressing and is a delicious way to use up that summer bounty and any leftover crusty bread (look out in a couple of weeks I will post a recipe that I love for the traditional version).
This sweet version gives leftover cake (or store-bought pound cake) a sweet new life, by toasting it with a brush of Lemon EVOO and using the resulting cake croutons along with peaches, cherries and a sweet and tangy combination of Peach-Apricot vinegar, honey, and mint. BE BRAVE with your fruit choices, these are fruit I love, but you can use any berries or stone fruit you enjoy.
The secret star of this dish is the creamy mixture of mascarpone cheese, honey and coconut flakes that adds just the right amount of rich, smooth velvety mouth feel.
One technical point – while a traditional Panzanella is tossed in the dressing, in this dessert version I don’t recommend tossing as it might cause the toasted cake and cheese to fall apart. Just gently layer and assemble, allow to sit for 10 minutes and enjoy!
1/3 cup O&V Peach Apricot Pulp Vinegar *
2 tablespoons O&V Peach Honey *
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint or basil
3 cups Lemon Pound cake cut into 1-inch cubes *
2 tablespoons O&V Lemon EVOO *
4 oz mascarpone cheese
4 tablespoons shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
4 teaspoons O&V Peach Honey
¼ cup crushed candied pecans
4 ripe peaches
1 cup pitted and halved cherries (or substitute your choice of berry)
Pinch of Fleur de Sel
Make the syrup by mixing the Peach Apricot vinegar, 2 tablespoons of Peach Honey, and mint or basil in a small bowl. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Brush slices of pound cake with the Lemon EVOO. Then cut into cubes. Lay cubes in the parchment lined baking tray in a single layer. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through until they are toasted and golden.
In a bowl, mix the mascarpone cheese, shredded coconut, and 2 teaspoons of Peach honey until well combined. Form mixture into a 10″-long log using plastic wrap. Roll the log in crushed pecans. Wrap log tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for 20-30 minutes. After removing from the freezer, unwrap log and cut into small pieces.
Cut the peaches into half, pit them, and cut each half into 4 wedges. Prepare the cup of cherries. Mix both these together in a bowl. Drizzle with the prepared syrup and toss gently
To assemble the dessert, divide the toasted cake amongst 4 bowls. Also divide the peach mixture into each bowl. Top each bowl with cheese-log pieces.
Allow dessert to rest for 10 minutes to allow bread to soak up syrup and cheese to come to room temperature. Add a pinch of fleur de sel over each bowl and a drizzle of the remaining 2 teaspoons of Peach Honey
Active Time: 20 minutes. Total time: 40 minutes
* Yes, as always, I love using the products from our Oil & Vinegar franchise. Here the Peach Apricot Vinegar is hard to substitute as it provides that additional layer of peach flavor and tangy sweetness to this dessert. You can use a local honey in place of the Peach Honey, but you will lose some of that extra special flavor! As always, feel free to substitute products, just remember, that the better the ingredients, the healthier and tastier the dessert.
* The Lemon EVOO adds another subtle layer of citrus flavor to the cake, but you can use a plain EVOO or even a little melted butter.
* I think this dessert is best with a lemony pound cake (home-made or store-bought), but you can also use brioche bread. If you use brioche, cut the toasting time to 10-12 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through.
Unlike traditional Panzanella in which all ingredients are tossed with the dressing, tossing is not recommended for this recipe as it may cause the cake and mascarpone cheese to fall apart. For added crunch, add crumbled amaretti cookies or whole candied pecans as garnish.
Categories: Desserts, Vegetarian, Fruit, Stone-Fruit, Peaches, Cherries, Peach-Apricot Vinegar, Peach Honey, Mint, Lemon Pound Cake, Lemon Cake, Toasted Cake, Lemon EVOO, Lemon Olive Oil, Mascarpone Cheese, Shredded Coconut, Candied Pecans, Fleur de Sel, Panzanella, Dessert Panzanella