Poaching stone fruit is a really simple process and it enhances the natural sweetness of the fruit. Over summer there are plenty of stone fruit varieties available – plus one of the benefits of poaching is that it masks the dryness of the fruit towards the end of the season. So rather than persevere with average fruit – just poach it and enjoy for breakfast or dessert – it works a treat!
Peaches [or apricots or nectarines]
1 litre of water
1 cup castor sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 star anise
If cinnamon & star anise don’t appeal as flavours, you could try a mix of the water, castor sugar, 1 split vanilla bean [with the seeds scraped] and a stalk of lemongrass, which adds a refreshing summer flavour to the fruit.
1. Prepare the peaches by scoring the base of the fruit with a cross which helps to peel the fruit after poaching.
2. Place the water, sugar, cinnamon, star anise and cloves in a large saucepan. [The saucepan needs to be large enough to arrange the fruit later without crowding or bruising – allowing the fruit to cook evenly]
5. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the fruit is cooked through and soft.
6. Use a slotted spoon to gently remove the fruit from the liquid, peel and quarter. The skin should peel away easily – but be careful because it can be quite hot to handle!
7. Continue to simmer the liquid for about another 10 minutes to reduce it a little.
8. Place the fruit in a bowl and cover with the liquid. Allow to cool then store in a sealed container in the fridge.
For breakfast serve with yoghurt & muesli
For dessert serve warm with ice-cream or cool with yoghurt.