The stone fruit this summer has been absolutely sensational. I came home from the market laden with a box of gorgeous peaches. Sweet. Intensely aromatic. Ideal for poaching. A perfect pairing for the long forgotten bottle of Prosecco I found lurking in the depths of the refrigerator. From our Christmas celebrations. No doubt.
Peaches poached and peeled , I turned my attention to the syrup. Floral. Fruity. Pure ambrosia. Yes it would be delicious spooned over the peaches and served with vanilla ice-cream for dessert. But it deserved better than that.
The scent of those peaches and their syrup transported me back to the summers of my childhood. Long, hot summers. Peaches and cream. Peaches and ice-cream. Peaches set in jelly for dessert with the obligatory scoop of ice cream on the side. A very special treat. More often than not it involved tinned Ardmona canned cling peaches. Set in good old Aeroplane jelly. I well remember those packets of jelly crystals which we dissolved in water. Served with Norco Vanilla Ice Cream. From the tub.
Here is my very modern take on that childhood classic. A perfect Prosecco poached peach. Served whole. The orange scented poaching syrup transformed into a jelly. Layered on top of a vanilla panna cotta cream. The taste and scent of summer. Past, present and future.
Prosecco Poached Peaches with an Orange Scented Jelly and Vanilla Panna Cotta Cream.
For the peaches
6 fresh peaches
1 750 ml bottle Prosecco
1 ½ cups caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
finely grated zest of 1 orange
COMBINE Prosecco, sugar, vanilla bean, orange juice and zest in a saucepan.
STIR over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
ADD peaches. Cover with a round of baking paper and weight using a small plate. Bring just to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until peaches are just tender.
REMOVE saucepan from heat. Remove plate and baking paper from saucepan. Allow peaches to cool completely in syrup. When cool, remove from the syrup and peel. Skins should slip away easily from the fruit.
STRAIN syrup through a fine sieve over peaches. Store peaches covered in the refrigerator until required. Three cups of the poaching syrup will be required for the jelly.
For the vanilla panna cotta cream
450 ml pouring cream
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise
1 ½ leaves of gelatine (titanium strength), softened in a little water for 5 minutes
PLACE cream, sugar, and split vanilla bean in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat.
SQUEEZE excess water from gelatine, add to cream mixture, stir to dissolve.
DISTRIBUTE evenly amongst 6 small glass tumblers.
REFRIGERATE immediately. This layer should be set sufficiently within an hour so that the peach jelly layer can be added to the glasses
For the jelly
3 cups of the peach poaching syrup, strained
4 leaves of gelatine (titanium strength) softened in a little water for 5 minutes
PLACE 1 cup of the poaching syrup in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat.
SQUEEZE excess water from the gelatin leaves. Add gelatine to pan and stir until gelatine dissolves.
STIR gelatine mixture into remaining 2 cups of peach poaching syrup.
POUR syrup into a jug. Leave on the kitchen bench to cool.
REMOVE the glass tumblers from the refrigerator. Check that the vanilla cream layer has set sufficiently to withstand the addition of the peach jelly.
CAREFULLY pour the peach jelly evenly over the partially set vanilla cream and refrigerate until set.