Peaches Poached in Champagne for New Year’s Brunch

The peaches look sensational as a table centrepiece in large white shallow bowl with their glorious colours. Use as a starter for New Year’s brunch instead of fresh fruit, or as a dessert for a summer lunch or dinner.  The key element for flavour is the vanilla bean and to use only champagne – no water. An option is to use pink champagne which will add a glorious colour to the syrup. Don’t keep dish for too long as peaches will lose their shape and become wrinkly after about 18hours – it will still taste fine. I used to make the night before the brunch and leave elevated overnight over a basin of water so that the ants couldn’t get in.

Serves 12

20 small peaches or 12 large peaches – do not use cling peaches
1 bottle champagne or sparkling wine
1.3 cups caster sugar
Rind and juice of 2 oranges
1 vanilla bean

  1. Place caster sugar and champagne in a large saucepan with orange juice and rind, and vanilla bean.
  2. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
  3. Add unpeeled peaches. Cover and simmer over low heat for 8-10 minutes until just tender. When skin starts to split, they are ready.
  4. Remove peaches with slotted spoon – skins should just slip off easily.
  5. Simmer liquid over medium heat without lid until reduced to 2 cups. It will be thick and syrupy.
  6. Remove vanilla bean. Pour syrup over peaches.
  7. Cool and serve at room temperature.
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