Spiced peaches are an important part of my cold buffets as an accompaniment to slices of roast gammon. I even serve them with cold ham and bubble and squeak for a quick mid week meal.
It’s important that when you blanch the peaches that you do not leave them too long as the softer they become the harder it is to halve them with out breaking them.
FIVE SPICE PEACHES
Makes 2.2pt (1 lt) jar
1.5 kg peaches
600 ml white wine vinegar
12 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole cloves
4 cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
1 kg sugar
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and put each peach in it for 30-40 seconds. This is not to cook the peaches but to loosen the skins for peeling.
Transfer to a bowl of iced water and leave to cool. Drain and dry well.
Halve the peaches using the indentation on one side as a cutting guide. Remove the stones and skin and set the peaches aside.
Bring the wine vinegar and spices to the boil in a large pan.
Add the sugar a stir, over a low heat, until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Boil the mixture for 2 minutes then add the peaches and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes until the peaches are tender when pierced with a knife.
Transfer the peaches to a sterilised jar to within 1.25cm of the top.
Boil the syrup for a further 2 to 3 minutes until it has slightly reduced.
Pour the syrup over the peaches. Seal the jar and keep in a cool, dark place for two months before using to allow the flavors to develop.
Serve as an accompaniment cold roast meats.