For those of you who are unfamiliar, James and the Giant Peach is the story of 4-year-old James Henry Trotter who goes from living a happy life with his parents in a cottage by the sea in the south of England, to living with his dreadful Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge on the top of a dark secluded hill. Why, you ask? Because his parents were devoured by big, hungry rhinoceroses on a shopping trip one afternoon. Rhinos-who would have thunk it?
For years, James endured the wrath of his horrible aunts until one day, James bumped into a strange little man while wailing in the bushes. The man gave James instructions for a magical potion and promised that his life would change for the better when he drank it. But James dropped the potion next to a tree, which for years never bore any fruit. James thought he would never find luck again. However, the once bare tree began to grow a peach. The peach grew and grew and grew until it was the size of a house. His aunts made this magic peach into a spectacle, while James discovered that there was more to the peach than just its size. Inside, he met some charismatic insects who he quickly befriended. One day, the peach rolled its way down the hill, through the center of town, and into the sea.
As James and his new friends faced harrowing adventures, including aggressive seagulls and the infamous Cloud-Men, they also learned about friendships and new beginnings as their giant peach made its way to Central Park in New York City.
I took a children’ s literature class my junior year in college where we re-read this Roald Dahl classic. It brought out the wondrous child in my then, 20-year-old self. With stories like James and the Giant Peach, the magic never leaves no matter what age you are. And now at 22, I still don’t bother to question how a peach managed to find its way from England to New York City without the slightest bruising. It just did.
I reincarnated the story of James and the Giant Peach into your new Sunday morning staple: peach amaretto scones. They’re sweet with just a hint of juiciness from the burst of peaches, which were marinated in amaretto. I’d ask if it could get any better, but it does with an amaretto drizzle. I think Roald Dahl and Lane Smith would definitely approve. I know the Yecco household does.
Peach Amaretto Scones
2 Big, slightly overripe peaches
1/2 Cup amaretto
3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
1 Teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Sticks of butter, at room temperature
3/4 Cup buttermilk
Juice of 1/2 a large lemon (use the whole lemon if it is small)
1/2 Teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon of white sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
- Cut the peaches into 1 inch cubes and soak them in amaretto for at least 30 minutes, but no more than 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter, buttermilk, juice of 1/2 a lemon, and lemon zest and mix together. Don’t over mix or they will be chewy.
- Remove peaches from amaretto and place the peach infused amaretto aside for the glaze. Drain the peaches and add to mixture- it will lean more towards the wet side.
- On parchment paper (wax paper or a heavily floured surface will also do), give a healthy sprinkle of flour and roll out scone mixture until 1 1/2 – 2 inches thick. Then, cut into triangles, circles, or squares and lay scones on a buttered baking tray.
- Beat the egg and brush the tops of the scones with a pastry brush so they get nice and shiny when they bake. Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let cool before glazing.
1 Cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons of amaretto left over from soaking the peaches
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 Teaspoon lemon zest
- Mix powdered sugar, amaretto set aside from peaches, heavy cream, and lemon zest together until smooth. You may want to add some more amaretto or heavy cream if you’d like the glaze thinner.
- Drizzle on top of the cooled scones.