Lavender-Poached Peaches & Blackberries

Ingredients:

  • 2c water
  • 1/2c juice (I used pomegranate and added the juice of one lime, but orange juice would be perfect too)
  • 4tbsp mild honey
  • 4  four inch long sprigs of fresh lavender
  • 1 three inch long piece of vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 4 just-ripe medium peaches (a challenge in these parts, so I used the cling peaches which were available & sacrificed the intact half peach presentation)
  • 1c fresh blackberries (i picked up a pound of frozen berries at the Farmers Market)

Method

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir until honey dissolves.

Add whole peaches and cook 1 – 2 minutes, turning carefully, until skin loosens.

Remove peaches, place in colander, rinse under cold water and let drain.

Allow liquid to boil briskly while peeling the peaches. Add the peach skins to the liquid.

Slice peaches in half, removing pit if possible. If not, leave intact during poaching.

Bring the liquid to a just-barely simmer, add peaches. Poach until not quite tender when pierced, 4 – 8 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the peaches to a bowl and, handling carefully, remove any remaining pits.  Cover and refrigerate for minimum 30 minutes, but you can keep them chilled up to 3 days.

Keeping the liquid at a just-barely simmer, add blackberries. Poach for 1 – 2 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate as per the peaches.

Return the liquid to a brisk boil and cook until reduced to about 3/4 cup. Watch carefully, don’t allow the liquid to scorch. Strain, cover and refrigerate the liquid as per the peaches and blackberries.

breakfast polenta with poached fruit

Let the fruit and syrup come almost to room temperature before serving. Add a scoop of vanilla frozen yoghurt or perhaps a bit of custard if you are so inclined.  Drizzle the fruit with the syrup and garnish with lavender sprigs.

Oh, and if you happen to have blueberry polenta for breakfast, a bit of poached fruit added to it just might start the day right (after the barefoot run).

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