Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Just Peachy


The peach. The quintessential summer fruit. So delicate and perishable, the need to fill up in peak season is a compulsion. While I've realized I appreciate apricots cooked, a fresh peach with chin dripping juice is "it" for me.

Although one can make vanilla peach butter, a perfect cobbler with fluffy biscuit topping, or home can them in juice for winter eating a quick poach is ethereal. These amazing treats are a late summer fridge staple.

The recipe comes from my falling apart copy of The Silver Palate Cookbook, with a few modifications. I usually always double the recipe since one pound whole fruit doesn't ever seem to be enough.

Basic poaching ingredients plus a few black peppercorns infuse equal parts water and white wine.

When poaching peaches they are kept whole with the skin on. They cook only 12 minutes, come to room temperature before being peeled and pitted. Super easy.

I like to keep them in a jar, always available for breakfasts and snacking. Over ice cream or drizzled with yougrt.  Or dolloped with a bit of vanilla creme fraiche and a crumbled amaretti they make a lovely dessert.


Poached Peaches

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
piece of a cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves
half a vanilla bean
zest of one lemon
6 black peppercorns
16 oz. dry white wine
1# just ripe peaches

Combine sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves, vanilla bean, lemon zest and peppercorns with 2 cups of water and 2 cups of dry white wine. Simmer 10 minutes.

Gently place 1# whole peaches into hot syrup and return to a simmer. Cook fruit gently for about 12 minutes, or until fruit is tender but not mushy. Do not overcook!

Remove pan from heat and let fruit cool in the syrup. Peel, pit and slice as desired.

The fruit is now ready to be served, but can be stored in the poaching liquid in the refrigerator.

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