It’s peach season! Nectarines and apricots are here too. I have to say, I often find supermarket peaches a bit disappointing. Peaches from childhood memory were almost dangerous things to eat. They ran with juice. They were impossible to eat without at least one slurp. And you would be sticky and attractive to wasps for the rest of the day. Now you’re more likely to find ones with all the give and juiciness of a cricket ball and a similar taste, I imagine. There’s a generation of children growing up who think that peaches and nectarines are crunchy.
This recipe will help with those peaches which stubbornly refuse to ripen properly. Use the tip end of the chilli rather than the stalk end for this – the chilli is milder at the tip. You shouldn’t really taste the chilli as you eat, it should just give you a little love-bite on the way down!
1/2 tsp red chilli, finely chopped
1 sprig mint
2 peaches, halved
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp mint, chopped as a garnish
Bring the water, sugar, chilli and mint to a simmer in a saucepan.
Add the peaches, cut side down.
Simmer for 5 minutes and then flip over and simmer for 5 minutes more. Repeat as necessary until the peaches are tender.
Remove peaches from the poaching liquid.
Keep simmering the cooking liquid for another 10 minutes to reduce slightly.
As soon as the peaches are cool enough to handle, slip their skins off.
Leave everything to cool.
Remove the mint sprig from the syrup.
Just before serving stir in the juice of half a lemon to brighten the syrup.