Saturday, March 22, 2014

poached peaches

On a trip down to the far south coast after Christmas J noticed some golden gifts hanging from a peach tree which would have been planted by his parents some thirty years ago. They were as hard as rocks so we waited until the morning we were leaving to gather the stash, in the hope they might have had more time to ripen.

Still very firm when we brought them back to Sydney I nestled the peaches in beside a huge hand of bananas and a week and a half later they had a 'bit of give' to them.

I decided than rather than make jam or chutney from them I'd like to celebrate their integrity of flavour and preserve them so we could appreciate the love that went in to planting and nurturing the tree that grew them all those years ago. I love that preserving was used to store in-season foods for the months of lesser abundance (but I don't think these babies will last in to winter!) They are cling peaches too, which makes it difficult to remove all the flesh without wastage. I didn't bother removing blemishes and despite the burrows came across no little critters - but they are clearly organic!

It was a shame that the figs still hanging from the tree (just down from the pit toilet - so, well composted from 30 years of organic matter) were a few weeks from being salvageable. I just hope the birds enjoyed their feast!

Deciding on a recipe wasn't difficult. There are so many out there so I went with a hybrid recipe (thanks to a trickle of the Internet, a touch of Stephanie Alexander and a splash of intuition) and whacked them in a cast iron pot with water, a reduced amount of raw sugar and vanilla extract (I was out of vanilla beans).

These have come up a real treat and the peachiness will continue to flavour the 'brine' in the months to come. If they last that long! They are best served with some deliciously creamy vanilla ice cream. What a treat!!

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