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- 4 cups Cava or other sparkling wine
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla pod or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 ripe peaches cut in half and pitted
Combine the Cava, water, and sugar together in a heavy pot large enough to hold all the peaches. Split the vanilla pod in half and scrape the beans into the pot. Add the pod as well. Add the extract if you are using it instead.
Bring the ingredients to a simmer, then add the peaches face down. Cover the peaches with either parchment paper or cheesecloth so that the peaches are submerged while they are cooking. Simmer the peaches until soft, about 15-20 minutes.
Remove the peaches with a slotted spoon, then boil the poaching liquid until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
Allow the peaches to cool, then remove their skin. Wait for the syrup to cool slightly, then spoon it over the peaches. You can also serve the peaches at room temperature. Serve the peaches with vanilla ice cream, shortbread cookies, or yogurt.
- 4 fresh peaches, or as needed
- ⅓ cup white sugar, or to taste
- ¼ cup water
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
Cut each peach in half along the crease, twist open, and remove the pit. Peel and slice. Cut slices in half to get roughly 2 cups of sliced peaches.
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil until a syrup forms, about 3 minutes. Stir in peaches until coated. Bring syrup back to a light simmer, about 1 minute. Immediately remove from heat and pour mixture into a bowl.
Transfer peaches into a large bowl using a slotted spoon. Pour in heavy cream and stir to combine. Divide mixture between serving glasses, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely chilled and cream has absorbed all the peach flavor, at least 3 hours.
Fresh peaches poached in champagne need to be tasted to be really appreciated.
2 large ripe peaches, preferably white
2 cups dry champagne
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 small vanilla bean
3 large strawberries
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 medium lemon, squeezed for juice
1 cup Romance Whipped Cream, see recipe
2 large mint leaves for garnish
Make a very light incision all around peach skins. Plunge the peaches briefly into boiling water, then into cold water, and peel. Place in a shallow pan and douse with champagne. Add the syrup and vanilla bean. Bring to a slow boil over low heat, and poach peaches at about 185°F, but do not allow to boil. If peaches are very ripe, they will be poached after 5 minutes.
Place peaches and syrup in a cool place, but do not refrigerate. Drain peaches, reserving the poaching liquid. Wash strawberries, remove any leaves, and purée in a blender or food processor. Place in a bowl and stir sugar into the purée. Stir romance whipped cream into the strawberry purée and add lemon juice.
Serve on round plates, or in glass dishes or small bowls. Line the bottom of the dishes with strawberry cream and arrange the cooled, but not chilled, peaches on top. Garnish each peach with a mint sprig. Serve the chilled poaching liquid separately in a sauce boat.
- 6 firm, ripe peaches
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split (or 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
- 2 strips lemon zest
- 1 large mint sprig, plus more for serving
- 4 cups water
Using a paring knife, lightly score an X into bottom of peaches (this will help with peeling later). In a large saucepan, combine sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, mint, and water. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes.
Add peaches and enough water to cover. Bring to a bare simmer, and cook, turning occasionally, until peaches are easily pierced with a skewer, 6 to 10 minutes, depending on ripeness of peaches.
Remove peaches with a slotted spoon let cool slightly. Using a paring knife, peel peaches return to syrup. Serve with mint sprigs.
20 Juicy Peach Recipes
The best recipes start with the freshest ingredients, and peaches, naturally, are no exception. Stone fruits come into season in summer, so now's the time to nab them at your local farmers' market. Here are our favorite peaches available around the West.
- Donut peaches: White small and squat low acidity
- Halloween peaches: Yellow large and full flavored
- Indian blood cling peaches: Yellow sweet-tart
- O’Henry peaches: Yellow good even underripe
- Snow beauty v: White delicate, floral, juicy
Click ahead for how to use them.
In a 4 to 6-quart saucepan, combine the water, orange juice, peach brandy or nectar, sugar, honey, and vanilla. Bring to a full boil.
Add the peeled peaches and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and continue at a simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until peaches are tender. You want the peaches soft, but still somewhat firm.
Using a slotted spoon, remove peaches to a bowl to cool completely.
Boil the syrup for approximately 10 minutes longer, or until reduced by about half. Cool the syrup.
How to Make It
Boil a large pot of water.
Make poaching liquid: Whisk together Riesling, 1/2 cup sugar, the vanilla bean, and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to very low and keep it there while proceeding with step
Blanch peaches in the pot of boiling water, then peel (see "Peach-Peeling Secret," below). Halve and pit peaches.
Ease peaches into poaching liquid. Cook over high heat until liquid boils, then quickly turn off heat and cover pot with plastic wrap to seal. If edge comes unsealed, lay another piece of plastic wrap over to reseal. Set aside until cool.
Transfer peaches to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Boil liquid over high heat to reduce by half. Cool completely, then pour over peaches and chill until cold, about 1 hour.
Make topping: Whisk together crème fraîche and remaining 2 tbsp. sugar.
Place a peach half and about 1/4 cup poaching liquid in each bowl. Dollop with crème fraîche.
Make ahead: Prepare through step 4 and chill, covered, up to 1 day ahead.
Peach-peeling secret: Fuzz is a beloved characteristic of the peach, but when cooked, it can become tough. Remove the skin easily by scoring an X into the top and bottom of the fruit with a paring knife. Ease it into a pot of boiling water for 20 seconds, then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Rub skin at the X to loosen then rub it off.
- 4 pounds peaches (about 12)
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped, pods reserved
- 1 cup bourbon
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath. Cut a small X into the bottom of each peach. Boil peaches for 1 minute.
Transfer to ice-water bath. Let cool slightly. Peel and pit peaches, and cut into 3/4-inch-thick wedges.
Bring 4 cups water, the sugar, and vanilla seeds and pods to a boil in a large saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add peaches and bourbon. Simmer until peaches are tender but still hold their shape, 5 to 7 minutes.
Transfer peaches to a large bowl using a slotted spoon. Cook syrup over mediumheat until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Pour over peaches. Let cool completely.
Divide peaches among five 12-ounce sterilized jars using a slotted spoon. (Jars can be sterilized by boiling in water, submerged, for 10 minutes.) Pour syrup over tops. Add vanilla pods to jars if desired. Seal jars, and refrigerate until ready to use.
How to Poach Pears
1. Peel the pears and cut out the cores via the base of the fruit. Some people also slice a few millimeters off the bottom of the pear , creating a flat surface on which it can stand upright. As for the stem, leave it on in the name of style.
2. Next, it’s time to draw a bath for the pears. It’s common to use either water or wine. Although the thought of pears drinking a bottle of red instead of me makes me cringe, this method does lend the final product a vibrant ruby hue. White wine works too, as does apple cider. Depending on your recipe and preference, you’ll also add a sweetener, vanilla, and spices like cinnamon and clove. You’ll bring this mixture to a boil and then down to a simmer. When you add the pears, the liquid should just cover their tops.
3. Let the pears simmer about 20 minutes in their hot tub. You’ll need to turn them a bit every five minutes or so in order to achieve even cooking and coloring throughout. When you think they’re ready, poke one with a knife or fork. If you meet no resistance, it’s time to pull them out.
4. At this point, you may choose to let the pears and the liquid hang out overnight in the fridge, allowing the fruit to absorb even more flavor. Another option is to strain any solids from the liquid and continue reducing it in a saucepan until it reaches a syrup-like consistency. Then drizzle the reduction over the pears before serving.
Cuisinart MultiClad Stainless Steel 4-Quart Saucepan, $39.99 on Amazon
A roomy saucepan is really all you need for poaching pears.
Although they appear glamorous, poached pears are actually quite easygoing. You can serve them warm or cool with pretty much anything from whipped cream to chocolate to cake and pastries. You can keep them in your fridge for up to five days. And you can even add them into baked goods, either whole or diced.
How to make poached peaches
Properties have been won and lost for thousands of years on the throw of a dice or the flip of a card. But I bought a house because of a peach. An old farmhouse in Somerset that an arriviste family had plonked a Georgian wing onto in 1821. It was the 19th-century brick-walled garden that did it, with its bed of swaying silvery artichokes and lavender walk – and, along the west-facing wall, espaliered peach trees stretched taut by their wire bindings. On one was a rose and gold, fuzzy-haired peach that the owner picked and offered to me, all sun-warmed flesh and sticky, honeyed juice, like no peach I’d eaten before. It has never fruited since.
When nature gets things right, you don’t want to mess with her. There is little more perfect than a ripe peach plucked from the tree. Its origins are exotic – the peach is native to China, where recent evidence suggests domestication may have begun as long ago as 6000bc. From there, it travelled along the Silk Road to Persia, where it was much celebrated, and came to be known as Persian apple or Persian plum (hence its Latin name, prunus persica). It is said Alexander the Great introduced peaches to Europe and they became widely cultivated throughout the Roman Empire from the first century ad.
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You too can grow peaches – they actively need a cool period in the year to thrive. A sheltered spot, ideally against a warm wall, will do well. City trees, maybe because of the warmer air and smaller gardens, are likely to do better than country ones peach stones dating from the second century have been found near Billingsgate fish market in London.
And on the plate? The white peach has more delicate and scented flesh than the yellow, and the flat varieties that have become fashionable over the past decade seem to produce better-quality fruit, though this may have to do with their being easier to transport. Still, the gulf between a ripe peach and a woolly, flavourless fruit is hard to bridge – once picked, the flesh will soften but won’t become any sweeter. Peach is beautiful sliced directly into a glass of wine, or if you like a hit of savoury with your sweet, use it to set off silken prosciutto, or include both in a peppery salad of rocket dotted with milky ricotta. The classic peach melba combines the fruit with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream. But because of their sweetness they respond best, to my mind, to a hit of acid tang – poach in elderflower and serve with un- sweetened yoghurt spiced with cardamom and a suspicion of rose.
THE BEST WINE TO PAIR WITH POACHED PEACHES
BY MALCOLM GLUCK
This lovely recipe calls for a sweet wine, obviously, but a word, a few words indeed, of caution are called for. It would be easy to overwhelm the delicacy of those poached peaches if the wine was so sweet that, rather than enhancing the dish, it supplanted it on the taste buds and so bewildered the poor dears.
One such over-rich example would be the sweet sherry called Pedro Ximénez (PX), after the grape which goes into it. PX is fine with sticky toffee pudding. The wine has the texture of molasses and experiencing it is like sipping melted Pontefract cake we require something subtler yet with an emphatic personality of its own. Sauternes and Barsac come to mind – again, are they too rich? My preference would be for a wine made in a similar way but from the Dordogne not Bordeaux.
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Yapp Brothers has an exquisite candidate in the shape of Domaine de l’Ancienne Cure Monbazillac 2014 (£15.95 a bottle or £191.40 a case), with the baked-caramel richness we require but also a determined acidity. It is a most agreeable partner for those peaches. Is it grand enough? Well, if a wider spectrum of exciting flavours is required, then consider Kopke Colheita Tawny Port 1999 (£32.99 at Waitrose) – richly mature but still with oodles of freshness to it which counterpoint the deepening effect of the wine’s ageing in oak barrels. A surprising choice with those peaches, perhaps, but an utterly scrumptious one. Is it a touch funky? So what! This is hedonistic dining, so a little funk is not out of place.
Thus emboldened, let us now venture to my final choice of wine, Justino’s 10-Year-Old Madeira Malvasia (£27 at Marks & Spencer). This is ‘an elegant vinous miracle,’ my tasting notes proclaim – but it is also in certain circumstances, and those magnificent peaches are one such circumstance, an outstanding pud wine. It has middle-aged wrinkles, a pruney, slightly juniper-like fruitiness, yet it also possesses vigorous acidity and youthfulness, so its arrogance – and it is an arrogant wine – is tempered by a remarkable sense of itself. It is utterly delicious and seductive what it does to those peaches is recognise its place in the pairing and so, rather than assert its egoistic individuality (which is massive), it falls into place and. it is love at first sight. Troilus and Cressida, Aeneas and Queen Dido, Romeo and Juliet even – all misfits compared to the incomparable matching of Justino’s Madeira with those elderflower-poached peaches.
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How do you make Bourbon Poached Peaches?
The peach slices have been gently simmered in a mixture of water, sugar, bourbon and vanilla until perfectly tender. Then the poaching liquid was boiled some more and reduced to an amazingly good syrup. The flavors of the bourbon syrup are reminiscent of a buttery caramel with hints of vanilla, and it is really delicious with the sweet peaches that have also absorbed the same wonderful bourbon-vanilla flavors.
We served these bourbon poached peaches over our vanilla ice cream – and as we ate this dish (immediately) after taking our photos (we couldn’t wait!), Jack was unusually quiet as he ate. Then he let out a deep, satisfied, “Mmmmmmmmm!” Trust me – you’ll want to make this recipe as soon as possible!
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