Poached white peaches

This is an impossibly pretty pudding of pinks and creams. Delicate white peaches are poached in sweet, vanilla-scented wine to be eaten unadorned or with ice cream

Serves 4

500ml dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
120g golden caster sugar 2 pared strips lemon zest 1⁄2 vanilla pod, split, with seeds scraped out 4 white flesh peaches, ripe but firm

Step 1) In a saucepan just big enough to hold the peaches in one snug layer, heat the wine, sugar, lemon zest, half the vanilla pod and vanilla seeds with 200ml water, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.

Step 2) Score a small cross in the base of each peach and submerge them in the liquid, poaching gently for 15-20 minutes, until tender.

Step 3) Remove the peaches with a slotted spoon and leave to cool for a few minutes. Slip the skins off and return only these to the pan of pink syrup (the skins will impart a deeper pink colour). Bring the syrup up to a rolling boil and reduce in volume by a third. Strain over the peeled peaches and leave to cool completely. The peaches will keep, chilled and covered in the syrup, for up to 2 days. Serve whole, with ice cream.

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