I 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.
- 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.
Then I plunged them into iced water to stop them cooking through and to make them cool enough to handle.
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.
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.
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.
I served them in deep bowls with a bit of mint for decoration.
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.