I bought some peaches at the market today. The sole reason I bought them was because they were extremely cheap. I am unable to pass on a bargain, so snapped them up. The only drawback is that they were pretty hard. I knew they’d be a while before they finally softened, but I wanted to eat them right away, so I decided to cook one of the simplest and best ways of eating peaches in my opinion, poaching them in wine. Instead of red wine, which is the usual way I do them, I tried rosé – it was hot outside, and I figured rosé would be less wintery and lighter. I was right. The peaches were soft, subtle and the reduced poaching liquid, sweet, tart and intense without being too overpowering. It was the perfect end to my balmy summer’s evening.
4 firm white peaches
1 bottle dry rosé wine
2 star anise
3 lemon rind pieces
1 cup sugar
Using a sharp knife, cut a deep slit into the bottom of each peach, I find this helps them poach quicker. Place them in a medium saucepan so they fit snugly together. Pour over the wine to cover and add the star anise, lemon rind and sugar. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan and poach the peaches for 30-40 minutes until soft.
Remove from the pan and cool slightly. The skin on some peaches will slip off very easily, others not. I like them with or without so don’t worry if the skins won’t budge.
Turn up the heat of the poaching liquid to medium, let the sauce reduce until you have about 1 cup of liquid left. About 30 minutes. It should reduce down to a glossy syrup. Strain through a sieve and discard the solids.
Cut each peach into quarters, discarding the stones. Arrange some pieces in a shallow bowl and serve with cream and a generous drizzling of the syrup.