The march of the peaches continues, my friends, and I couldn't be happier about it. Last week, I spotted a recipe for peaches poached in wine and basil over at Food52 and instantly intrigued. I've always been more of a baker than a poacher, but something about the simplicity of the recipe (wine, basil, sugar, water, peaches) called to me.
The fact that I'd bought two pounds of peaches to no particular end might also have had something to do with it.
Regardless of motivation, the fact remains that I decided to make the poached peaches on Sunday afternoon. I tweaked the recipe in the smallest way (using rosé instead of white wine, since it's what I had on hand), but the results were still heavenly.
After only a few minutes of poaching (and a very easy peel), the peaches were even more luscious and heady than they'd been in their raw form. The syrup heightened their sweetness, and the slow poaching process coaxed the peaches from delightfully ripe to lusciously, sensually soft. The rosé wine lent itself to a rosier syrup than I'd expected, delicately scented with basil. Its remainders will, no doubt, make for amazing cocktails.
Guys, I gotta tell you: this is pretty much the sexiest dessert ever. For reals.
Enjoy. (Insert lascivious wink here.)
Peaches Poached in Wine and Basil
Adapted from TheRunawaySpoon on Food52
1 cup (dry) rosé wine
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 large bunch basil (about two cups' worth of leaves)
6 ripe yellow peaches
Place the wine, water and sugar into a wide-bottomed saucepan and stir to dissolve the sugar a bit. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and continue to boil for five minutes. Turn the heat down and allow the syrup to simmer gently while you halve the peaches.
Cut the peaches in half and gently remove the pits. This can be a delicate undertaking, depending on how ripe the peaches are. Add half the basil leaves to the syrup, then place the peaches in the pan, cut side down. (If all of your peaches don't fit in one go, you can do multiple rounds.)
Poach the peaches cut side down for about three minutes, then turn them (I used my fish spatula) over and poach for an additional three or four minutes. When pricked with a knife, the peaches should give way easily.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the peaches to a plate. Add any peach juices from the cutting board to the pan, along with the remaining basil. Bring the syrup to a boil and cook until reduced by half. Pour in any juices that have collected from the peaches, and let cool to room temperature.
Serve the peaches drizzled with the syrup; whipped cream or vanilla ice cream would also be lovely. Reserve most of the syrup for use in cocktails. Trust me.