Summer is over, and sadly, the stone fruit season is coming to an end. Peaches are one of my favourite fruits, so I tend to buy them until the very end of the season. I poached peaches with cinnamon and served them with yoghurt for dessert last weekend. We savoured them while enjoying the late afternoon sun in our garden.
One of the earliest western historical references to poaching fruit is the ‘Poire Belle Helene.’ This is a French dessert of poached pears drizzled with warm chocolate, invented by Auguste Escoffier (1846 – 1935). Escoffier was considered to be “the cook of kings and the king of cooks.” https://frenchculture.org/events/8830-lets-eat-france Did you know that the Chinese also like to poach fruit? There are recipes for poached nashi pears that are believed to be a remedy for sore throats.
Poaching fruit is a great way to use up bruised fruit, or fruit that doesn’t taste as it should. Poaching is often confused with stewing, as both techniques involve cooking through simmering. However, the purpose of poaching is to cook while retaining the basic shape and structure of the food, rather than to soften it over a long time, as with stewing. Poaching is typically used to cook delicate foods such as fruit, eggs and fish.
Poached peaches with cinnamon make a quick dessert with the syrup drizzled over vanilla icecream. Or, try them with bircher muesli, granola or porridge for breakfast. You can use lots different liquids for poaching – wine, verjuice, or tea, and then add a spice. My favourites are cinnamon, cardamom, star anise vanilla. Add a little sweetness – sugar, honey or maple syrup. You can also add lemon or orange peel, or some dried fruit, such as apricots, figs or prunes.
I hope you enjoy the last of the summer fruit. If you’re a fan of peaches like me, you might like to try this recipe: https://atamandastable.com.au/peach-keffir-cake/
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Poached Peaches with Cinnamon
- 4-5 peaches, stones removed and sliced
- 4 tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup verjuice
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Place the sliced peaches in a large saucepan.
- Stir the honey, verjuice and water together and pour over the peaches so that they are completely covered. Add the cinnamon sticks.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, and cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes until the peaches have softended a little.
- Serve with yoghurt, custard or vanilla ice cream.
- if not serving immediately, allow the peaches to cool, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.