Sugared, or macerated, peaches make a simple and crowd-pleasing dessert. Add slivers of fresh mint leaves and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
We’re loving the tail-end of stone fruit season and we’re schlepping home peaches, nectarines and plums by the ton! If you’re in need of a simple, make-ahead dessert that always gets rave reviews, macerated fruit is a fail-safe option.
Peaches, nectarines and strawberries lend themselves very well to this easy technique. Just sprinkle over a little sugar and lemon juice and sweet time does the rest!
Serve the peaches in a pretty bowl with a side of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (with a hint of bourbon, perhaps?!) and amaretti or Belgian wafers for an elegant finish to your meal.
I like to add chopped mint to mine, which gives it a lovely freshness, but I’ve also had great results with basil and orange zest. You can never have enough of this, and leftovers are delicious stirred into yogurt for breakfast!
2.2 lbs (1kg) peaches
2-3 tablespoons sugar, depending on ripeness of the peaches
2 teaspoons lemon juice
6 mint leaves, julienned
Peel the peaches. If you have a good peeler (or one with serrated blades) and you’re handy with a peeler, I suggest this method.
Another way to peel off the delicate skin is to score an ‘X’ on the bottom of the fruits and plunge them in boiling water for 30 seconds, followed immediately by a dip in an ice bath. This will help release the skins and you can peel them off easily with your fingers.
Slice them into thin wedges (around 10-12 wedges per peach, they should be bite-sized). Add them to a bowl and sprinkle over sugar (start with 2 tablespoons) and lemon juice. Stir well to combine, cover and set aside for at least an hour. The peaches will develop a lovely syrupy consistency.
Before serving, sprinkle over sliced mint and stir through once again.
There’s no need to refrigerate this if you’re serving it the same day. If it’s a really hot out you might want to refrigerate it and let is come back to room temperature half an hour before serving. Personally, I find the flavors shine more when they’re at room temperature. Enjoy!