Poached ‘Ripen at Home’ Peaches with Acacia Honey Sauce.

poached-peaches-1-of-8I tend to do our weekly shopping. The Wife likes to have a kiwi fruit with her morning muesli. I like to deliver a week’s supply of perfect kiwis to preserve her good humour and to avoid waste. While in the supermarket, I behave like an old woman with a wheeled shopping basket, squeezing the fruit to find what I want and what I don’t. If my thumb goes through the skin, leave it behind. If it’s like rubbing my chin with three day old stubble, I leave it there too. Getting fruit at the correct ripeness is not easy. So, I get upset with the retail fruit marketing baloney I read. There is a stand out phrase “ripen at home’. What this means is the fruit is at the three day stubble stage and you can take a flyer on it. It may ripen or it may just go mouldy. So, when I inadvertently picked up a pack of ‘ripen at home’ peaches, I needed a plan.

I got my inspiration from a poached pears recipe I prepared a couple of years ago (I don’t do lots of desserts) and decided to pump it up with some lovely Italian Acacia honey. So here’s how I prepared Poached Peaches with Acacia Honey Sauce

Ingredients

  • 6 ‘ripen at home’ peaches
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • Half a bottle of sweet wine
  • 3 teaspoons of excellent quality honey

First I placed the peaches in a pot of boiling water. This should split the skins in a minute or two. Given the amount of home ripening I was expected to do, it actually took nearly twenty minutes.

The peaches needed to be boiled like an old shirt. Not a great start...

The peaches needed to be boiled like an old shirt. Not a great start…

Then I plunged them into iced water to stop them cooking through and to make them cool enough to handle.

The peaches were nowhere near cooked. No reason to panic, yet.

The peaches were nowhere near cooked. No reason to panic, yet.

Next I peeled the peaches using a sharp knife. They were still pretty firm. They would never have ripened at home. Not in my lifetime anyway.  I then added them to a shallow saucepan and poured in the wine.

I always get a pang of trepidation when pouring good wine into a saucepan.

I always get a pang of trepidation when pouring good wine into a saucepan.

Then I added the cinnamon and honey. I place a lid on the pot and placed it in a 160ºC oven for an hour. Yes, an hour.

The honey added a different layer of sweet flavour to the wine. Nice!

The honey added a different layer of sweet flavour to the wine. Nice!

I tested the peaches for doneness a couple of times (by sticking a skewer into one of them). They needed every minute. Lastly, I removed the peaches and let them cool. While they were doing this, I reduced the cooking liquor by two thirds to make a nice sweet sauce.

The sauce darkened nicely as it reduced.

The sauce darkened nicely as it reduced.

I served them in deep bowls with a bit of mint for decoration.

Lovely peach withe a delicious syrup. Almost worth the trouble. Almost.

Lovely peach withe a delicious syrup. Almost worth the trouble. Almost.

They were very tasty and really not a lot of trouble. Not a lot of trouble if you ignore the feeling that they would never soften and the electricity and gas bill that I ran up over the long cooking time. “Ripen at home” – Never again.

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Latest comments
  • You crack me up. (Or do I mean, you provide good craic?) Imagine how cranky you would have got if you had have tried to home ripen those peaches and they just say there, fuzzily defying you. On saying that, I often buy stone fruit a tad under ripe and it usually ripens. But that may be an Aussie thing, it hasn’t been in cold storage and is in season. Anyhoo, love me a good poached fruit dessert and these photos are killer. Love the colours.

  • I thought you’d been scrumping to start with. You turned a pig’s ears into a silk purse 🙂

  • I am also suffering from GOW syndrome when I look at some of the over the hill or not ripe fruit in the Supermarket. I get an acute case of GOW ( grumpy old woman) when they have no flavor.

  • That’s a tasty treat. Your peaches are taking a wee bit long to stew/cook.

    Grumpy…..you are only human. It’s OK as long as you don’t lash out on your readers😜

  • “Given the amount of home ripening I was expected to do, it actually took nearly twenty minutes.” Priceless!
    The do look delicious, though. I’m not much of a dessert person either but I might give these a go if I find some rock-hard fruit! 🙂

  • Locally-grown peaches have already left us for the season, Conor, but I’ll be saving this recipe for next year. It sounds wonderful!

  • They should have just sold you the tree.

      • I know. I’m so famous now, I refused myself a selfie this morn…

          • You might be right. Perhaps I should let them out of their gilded cage.

  • It is a good way to make something out of them, although you are probably right that tossing them may have been the cheaper option. As you know I even managed to buy “ripen at home” peaches in Spain that never ripened despite the hot weather. I saw Spanish housewives buying them, so I thought they would be alright. Perhaps they were all buying them to prepare your recipe?

  • Well, altho’ I am not a dessert person either, this does appeal, tho’ it does seem I have to buy some good ‘sweet’ wine at the next shop at last. Since I order all my food on line and the market does seem to want ‘return custom’ most of the fruit I get fits into the ‘as yet to ripen’ category lest it arrives squishy 🙂 !! Since we have beautiful acacia honey here it will be full steam ahead as soon as the first peaches arrive . . . actually have a dwarf peach tree right behind the kitchen door and it flowered gloriously crimson red a few weeks back . . .

  • The only fruit I’ll buy to RAH is avocadoes. If I’m desperate for something specific and it’s not quite there, I’ll stick it with a couple of bananas for a day or two, which seems to do the trick most of the time. Otherwise, I’m not paying good money for pretty bits of rock.

  • Each year I hang out for stonefruit season. It’s the best time of year for fruit. My mum always said don’t bother with stonefruit until after Xmas (southern hemisphere). I’ve agreed with her too. Its something you can’t mess with. We see imported peaches and nectarines (my personal favourite) all year now. From California usually.
    Just terrible. I’d rather spend 8 mths of the year without and savour the glory for three months.
    And pork cheeks are the best too. Looking forward to seeing what you do.
    I have confit and deep fried, made sausage and terrine and braised with them. Such flavour.
    You’ll be dissapointed to hear I’m starting a new blog called Veg Curious. No meat.
    All the best.

  • Hi Conor. We’ve just connected earlier this week when you provided some tips for a tasty venison haunch. I must tempt you to hop over the pond and make your way to Texas where we grow peaches just an hour away from my home in the beautiful Texas Hill Country town and area around Fredericksburg. They are beautiful and tasty, although the season is well past us now! No more peaches until next year!

  • It’s good to know that a treatment like this will work. The peaches look delicious.

  • Your blog has disappeared from my reader once again!
    I’m glad I’ve checked to see what you’re up to. Your post made me laugh, which is usually a good thing. 🙂
    I think “ripen at home” is just a new scheme made to sell us hard unripe fruits. Indeed the only way to deal with them is what you’ve done here. It’s such a beautiful and aromatic dessert. 🙂

      • Will give it a try!

  • A pat on the back to you for finding a way to use up produce that otherwise sounded inedible.

  • “Not in my lifetime anyway…” Thank you for the morning chuckle! Such a simple and elegant dessert.

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