Champagne poached peaches

Every recipe that I have come across reads to blanch the peaches in boiling water until the skin begins to pull away. Then plunge into ice water, peel and then add to the poaching liquid. I thought, why not just skip the blanching part and cook the peaches in the poaching liquid until you are able to peel them.  That’s exactly what I have done and it works just fine for me.

Makes 8 half peach servings

4 large ripe peaches, washed
750 ml champagne, sec or demi-sec, or more or less as needed
1/4 cup granulated sugar, or to taste
1 vanilla pod, split

Using a paring knife, cut about a 1/2-inch “X” in the bottom of each peach (end opposite the stem). Place the peaches in a saucepan that is just big enough to hold them. Pour enough champagne to cover. Add sugar and vanilla pod. If you’re short on champagne pour in cold water to just cover (or open another bottle and you’re have some to enjoy).

Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes or until the skin just begins to pull away at the “X”. Turn off heat, remove peaches from the liquid and allow them to cool until they can be handled. Peel the peaches and return them to the poaching liquid. Return the pan to medium heat and gently simmer, turning 3 or 4 times until they can be pierced with the point of a paring knife; about 10 – 15 minutes depending on the ripeness of the fruit.

Remove the peaches to a large bowl. Boil the syrup until it has reduced to a syrup (this will take about 10 minutes). Allow to cool and then pour over the peaches. When ready to serve cut the peaches in half, remove the pit and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

The peaches will keep for up to 2 days, covered and in the fridge. Bring the peaches to room temperature, warm the syrup separately if desired and serve.

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