Poleaxed Peaches and Oranges to Celebrate the Battaglia delle Arance

Today is the festival of the battle of the oranges in Ivrea in Italy. The festival commemorates the old, familiar story of oppressed rising up. But in this annual Carnevale di Ivrea the oppressor is not done down by javelin or cannon but by…. oranges, 500,000 kilograms of them to be precise.

The exact date of the original Battaglia delle Arance is losts in the mists of time – somewhere around the twelfth century legend has it. The evil lord attempted to rape Violetta, a miller’s daughter, on the eve of her wedding. She somehow ended up cutting off his head with a sword, and these days in the replay the head of the hated tyrant is represented by an orange….. or two.

peach and orange puddings
The orange fruit looks very pretty in glass dishes

In any case, today we are celebrating the Battle of the Oranges with a poleaxed peach and orange pudding which is very quick and easy to make and fairly knock-out thanks to the liberal inclusion of Grand Marnier.

Serve in glass dish. You can make the caramelised nuts ahead of time.


Per person

  • 2 boudoir biscuits
  • 1 tbsp quince liqueur or Grand Marnier
  • ½ brandied peaches plus 1 tbsp or the brandy juice they’re bottled in
  • ¼ mandarin orange, peeled and sliced, and pulled apart
  • 3-4 tbsp double cream
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp sugared nuts – see below

To make enough sugared nuts for six people:

  • 25g/2 tbsps whole peeled hazelnuts
  • 25g/2 tbsps roughly chopped pecans
  • 25g/¼ cup flaked almonds
  • 105g/¾ cup icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp Grand Marnier


  1. Soak the cranberries in the brandy-juice
  2. Chop up the brandied peaches
  3. Break the boudoir biscuits into three or four and put in the bottom of a glass
  4. Cover with quince liqueur or Grand Marnier
  5. Put all the ingredients for the sugared nuts in a frying pan and caramelise – stirring as they turn dark gold
  6. Put the chopped peach over the moistened biscuit
  7. Put the mandarin on top
  8. Put the soaked cranberries and the brandy-juice over them
  9. Pour over the cream
  10. Top with the sugared nuts


peach and orange recipe
You could make just two for Valentine’s Day



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