Many years ago, I went to a family-run restaurant in the suburbs of Paris for a working lunch. I can’t remember what else I ate on that warm summer day but I still dream about this dessert – luscious peaches poached in a light white wine syrup topped with fresh mint. You could use either nectarines or peaches, the white fleshed ones are my favourites. Serve them on their own or with little plain vanilla or yoghurt ice cream on the side.
- 6 peaches or nectarines
- 500ml water
- 500ml golden caster sugar
- 250ml dry white wine
- Small bunch of fresh mint
- Half a fresh lime
- Put the water, sugar and 200ml of the white wine in a wide-bottomed saucepan. Swirl it about to help the sugar to dissolve and then put the hob over medium heat and bring it to the boil. Allow it to boil away for 5 minutes or so and then turn it down so it simmers. Add a sprig of fresh mint. Cut the peaches in half, remove the stones and then place them cut side down into the syrup. Do them in 2 batches depending on the size of your pan. Poach for a couple of minutes before gently turning them over and poaching for another 2 to 3 minutes, cut side up. When they feel tender but not mushily soft, remove them with a slotted spoon onto a dish.
- Measure out 200ml of the remaining syrup and pour any collected juices into the remaining syrup, remove the mint. Add the remaining white wine, put it back on the heat and boil; until reduced by half. Set aside to cool.
- Carefully slip off the skins and arrange them cut side down on a serving dish. Squeeze the lime juice over the peaches. Spoon the cooled syrup over the peaches and refrigerate. You can freeze any unused syrup. Sprinkle with freshly torn mint leaves before serving.
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