Every market display, grocery stand and shopping basket seems laden with peaches right now. Like little suns themselves, these juicy orange-yellow balls epitomise my summer, and, alongside their nectarine cousins, are one of the first fruits I reach for when summertime hits.
Peaches keep true to their tart flavour even after poaching, so to harmonise this dessert I recommend serving it with something creamy like ice cream, yogurt or whipped cream.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
- 4 yellow peaches
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 2 cups water
- 1 vanilla pod
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tbsp castor sugar
- fresh basil leaves
- Option: for a texture contrast, serve with wafers, roasted nuts or something equally crunchy.
- Option: serve with ice cream, yogurt or cream, for reasons mentioned above.
- Saucepan that is big enough to just fit all four peaches
- Slotted spatula
- Boil a liter of water, then take two mixing bowls and fill one of them with cold water. Fill the other with the hot water when it's ready.
- Submerge the peaches in the hot water for 1-2 minutes. Remove with slotted spatula and submerge them in the cold water for another minute or until cool enough to handle.
- Using your hands, gently peel off the peaches' skin.
- Halve the vanilla pod and scrape out the beans. Reserve both.
- Put the wine, water, sugar, cinnamon stick, the vanilla beans and both halves of the vanilla pod in a saucepan and heat until just boiling, then immediately reduce to a simmer.
- Add the peaches and let simmer for 20 minutes, turning on occasion if the peaches aren't completely submerged.
- Remove the peaches with the slotted spatula, and set aside to cool.
- Reduce the leftover wine to a thin syrup by boiling it, uncovered, until it has reduced to your liking. This is a great way to intensify the dish's flavour, improve its presentation and minimise food waste.
- Serve slightly chilled with basil leaves, ice cream/yogurt/cream and toasted nuts or wafers.
- You can also poach other hard fruits like pears, apples, nectarines and apricots.
- Adapt the recipe with ingredients like star anise, nutmeg, honey, cloves, tea, citrus peels, thyme, rosemary and liquors.