Semi-ripe peaches poached in rose wine with rosemary, vanilla and cardamom is a refreshing treat for the warm summer months.
While they are best eaten as is when they are ripe, they can be used for so much more when they have been poached. Thanks to inventions by famous chefs like Escoffier's Peach Melba (poached peaches served with vanilla ice cream and raspberry puree), we love to do a bit more to our peaches, than just eating them raw.
Currently at their peak in Australia, the markets are overflowing with local peaches, so why not buy a few extra and poach them. Peaches are one of the few fruits that pair harmoniously with wine due to their low acidity.
Now, the benefit of using rose wine for poaching peaches (besides allowing yourself to a cheeky glass while cooking) is the magical cooking liquid.
Firstly, you should never throw it away! Reduce it to a syrup and it will take on this beautiful pinkish colour that can lift any dessert presentation.
WHAT YOU NEED?
You need the following ingredients to make poached peaches:
Semi-ripe Peaches will work best for this recipe. Ripe peaches are great too but you will have to reduce the cooking time by a lot to avoid the peaches turning to mush. While picking peaches, make sure they are of the same size.
Wine makes most part of the poaching liquid. Preferably, use an inexpensive dry rose wine. White wine can be used too.
Rosemary adds an aromatic taste to the peaches. You can also use other herbs like thyme, basil, lemongrass or mint as substitutes.
Spices we used are cardamom, star anis and vanilla essence. You don't want to overpower the delicate peaches with too many spices. Other spices that work well too, are clove, cinnamon, ginger or peppercorns.
Besides these ingredients we use water, sugar for sweetness and lemon peel for acidity in the poaching liquid.
AS A NOTE: This recipe works well with other stone fruits too. Think nectarines, apricots and plums.
HOW TO POACH PEACHES
Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit with a small knife. In a wide pan or pot, combine the rose wine with water, sugar, rosemary, the spices and lemon peel.
Bring to a simmer and add the peaches with the cut side facing up.
Cover with parchment paper (this helps to keep them completely submerged) and slowly poach at simmer. After 5 minutes turn the peaches around and cook them for a further 5 minutes.
Check the doneness with a skewer and leave the peaches to cool at room temperature in the cooking liquid.
Remove the peaches from the pan and reduce the cooking liquid to ⅔. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve and place the peaches back inside.
AS A NOTE: cooking time depends on the ripeness of the peaches. Some take longer or even less time to cook so keep an eye on them!
to peel or not to peel?
To be honest, you can peel the peaches before poaching them but you don't have to. Gently poaching softens the skin enough which makes it easy to eat them with a spoon. Also, keeping the skin on helps retain their shape and not fall apart while poaching.
However, if you thrive for perfection then go ahead and add that extra step.
how to peel peaches?
Make a cross on the skin of the peaches. Bring a pot with water to boil and cook the peaches for about 15-20 seconds, depending on how firm they are. Transfer them with a slotted spoon inside a bowl of ice water. And voila! the peel comes off easily!
WHAT TO USE POACHED PEACHES FOR?
Probably the best way to eat these poached peaches on a hot summer day, is with this lemon cheesecake mousse dessert...yum! Or maybe with this baked rice pudding. Here are some more ways to enjoy this poached fruit:
Or just add a few raspberries to the juicy peaches and savour them with the flavour packed poaching syrup.
Yes absolutely. Use cranberry or pomegranate juice instead and even-out the sweetness with lemon juice if needed.
You can already tell if a peach is ripe by it's lovely sweet smell. Pick peaches that are red and yellow in colour and don't have any bruises. Green skin is a sign that they are unripe and wrinkles indicate they are too ripe.
Poached peaches can be kept in the fridge in their cooking liquid for up to 7 days. If you plan to freeze them, place them in an airtight container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw overnight in the fridge.
These poached peaches are a no-fuss summer dessert so I hope you give them a go. I would love to know if you make this recipe so leave me a comment and star rating below.
Also, if you are a poached-fruit lover like me, then maybe give these Spice Poached Pears a go next!
Peaches Poached in Rose Wine
- wide pot or pan
- parchment paper
- 4 semi-ripe peaches
- 400 millilitre rose wine
- 100 millilitre water
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 3 lemon peel
- ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
- 3 cardamom
- 3 star anis
- 150 gram caster sugar
- Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit with a small knife.
- In a wide pan or pot combine the rose wine with water, sugar, rosemary, the spices and lemon peel. Bring to a simmer and add the peaches with the cut side facing up.
- Cover with parchment paper and slowly poach at simmer. After 5 minutes turn the peaches around and cook them for a further 5 minutes.
- Check the doneness with a skewer and leave the peaches to cool at room temperature in the cooking liquid.
- Remove the peaches from the pan and reduce the cooking liquid to ⅔. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve and place the peaches back inside.
- Serve warm or cold with vanilla ice cream, yoghurt, whipped cream or straight up in a bowl with the beautiful poaching liquid syrup