Peaches Poached in White Wine with Mint, Basil and Citrus Fruits

Recipe from 'Kitchen Secrets' by Raymond Blanc. Click here to purchase book. 

The perfect dessert when peaches are at their best. June and July are usually the best months.  The best come either from France or Italy.  White peaches have the very best flavours and for that there is an extra price to pay.

Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus 6-18 hours infusing and freezing.

MAIN Peaches

Ingredients Required

8 Peaches firm but ripe, white if possible
120g Caster sugar
600ml Water
400ml Dry white wine
1 Vanilla pod, split lengthways or 1 tsp best vanilla extract
1 Orange, cut across into 2-3mm slices (*1)
1 Unwaxed lemon, cut across into 2-3mm slices (*1)
4 Basil sprigs
8 sprigs Peppermint sprigs, plus an extra sprig for garnish

Cooking Method

Planning ahead

The peaches and granita can be prepared up to 18 hours ahead.

To poach the peaches

Place the peaches in a single layer in a saucepan in which they fit quite snugly. Add the sugar, water, wine and vanilla. Top with the orange and lemon slices. Cut a round of greaseproof paper the diameter of the saucepan and cut a hole in the centre to let steam escape; lay over the peaches (*2). Place over a medium heat to dissolve the sugar and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 15–20 minutes until tender (*3). Turn off the heat and leave the peaches to cool in their own liquor.

To infuse the peaches

Roughly chop the herb sprigs and immerse in the cooking liquor. Leave to infuse in the fridge for at least 6 hours.

To make the granita

Pour half the liquor into a shallow freezerproof container and freeze until firm. Return the peaches in the remaining liquor to the fridge until ready to serve.

To serve

Using a slotted spoon, remove the peaches to a plate and carefully peel off the skin. Place the peaches in a glass bowl and pour on the liquor. Top with the orange and lemon slices, vanilla pod, if using, and mint sprig. Using a fork, scrape the granita into little glass dishes to serve alongside the peaches.


Kitchen Secrets

Recipe from 'Kitchen Secrets' by Raymond Blanc, published by Bloomsbury. 

Click here to purchase book.

Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2011.

Photograph © Jean Cazals 2011.