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!

Ingredients:
Peaches [or apricots or nectarines]
1 litre of water
1 cup castor sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 star anise
5-6 cloves

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.

Method:
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]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Heat the sugar mixture on a low heat until the sugar has fully dissolved.
4. Bring the mixture to the boil and add the fruit.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To serve:
For breakfast serve with yoghurt & muesli
For dessert serve warm with ice-cream or cool with yoghurt.

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