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Dessert perfect for summer's evenings

Poached Peaches with Granita

We learned this recipe from our friends at Leith’s cookery school in London – we love it for summer evenings!  

If peaches are out of season, we would recommend either plums or pears. Pineapple and rhubarb work well.

Ingredients Serves 4 

4 firm but ripe peaches; 120g caster sugar; 400ml dry white wine or rosé;  2 tsp vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla pod;  1 orange; half 1 lemon;  2 sprigs of mint, plus small mint leaves for garnish;  1 sprig basil;  400ml cold water. 

1. Boil the white wine for 10 minutes. 

2. Add the sugar and 400ml cold water into the pan with the wine. Over a low heat, gently melt down the sugar before adding the vanilla, lemon and orange slices, herbs and peaches. 

3. Cover the peaches with a cartouche and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes or until the peaches are soft, this will depend on the ripeness of the peaches you are using. It is important for the peaches to retain their shape. Turn heat off and allow to cool slightly in the syrup. 

4. Remove the peaches with a slotted spoon. Then remove the skin from the peaches, cool to room temperature and chill in the fridge. Make sure you place the peaches on their base so they maintain their shape when serving.. 

5. Strain the syrup into a freezer-proof container and place in the freezer. Remove every 2 hours and fork through to break up the crystals until you have achieved a crystal granita like consistency. You will probably need to do this twice, once after 2 hours in the freezer, then re-chill for 2 hours and fork again for service. 

6. To serve, scoop the granita and serve with room temp peaches

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