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Peach Perfect

I never used to believe in poaching peaches; I thought a peach couldn’t be improved upon. It needed to be eaten and that was all. Then I discovered this recipe. These peaches taste like drunken hyperboles of themselves.

Sardinia produces some very good Vermentino, and though I rarely drink it (I only really drink red wine) I love to cook with it. The light, floral taste goes extremely well with peaches. I have a small and treasured verbena plant in the garden here, and its fresh citrusy notes are wonderful used in dolci. Just make sure to infuse it, not to cook it as it gets that sort of stewed tea flavour about it which is less lively.

Vermentino Poached Peaches with Lemon Verbena.

Serves 6-8 (one peach per person)

500ml vermentino

200ml water

150g sugar

2 strips lemon zest

2 sprigs lemon verbena

6-8 peaches, washed

Bring the wine, water & sugar to the boil, then turn down to a simmer. Add the lemon zest. Add the peaches to the liquor and cover with a lid/cartouche.

Poach gently for about 20 minutes or so, until just soft. Take off the heat and add the sprigs of lemon verbena. Leave to infuse and cool. The skins will wrinkle to the press of a finger, and fall away gently in your hands. If you wish to have a thicker liquor, remove the peaches and reduce the sauce for a few minutes. Serve cool.


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