“you are ever
the only one
i want to give
all the peaches
in my heart to
the only one
i want them bruised.”
A ripe peach, headily perfumed and heavy with sweet juice, is one of the delights of summer. I have been thinking over the last few days of friends in the United States who are experiencing the worst blizzard in many, many years, and the contrast between their world at the moment; blanketed in white, freezing cold, and resolutely indoors, and mine, which is blue-skied, hot and humid, and celebrating the outdoor life. This dish exemplifies that world, and I hope it brings a little sunshine to those who are huddled indoors today.
It works beautifully as a dessert, or a brunch dish, but depends on having great peaches and good quality yoghurt. There is very little done to the ingredients, because they are so spectacular – just a little magic woven to bring them all together. In Australia, now is the time when peaches are at their absolute best, so a perfect time to make this little bowl of sunshine and light.
4 large, beautifully ripe peaches
500 g thick Greek yoghurt (not the sweetened variety. Tang is required here to balance the lime syrup)
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup water
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 medium-sized lime
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and the seeds scraped out
First make the lime syrup, In a small saucepan place the water, sugar, a few large pieces of lime zest (use a vegetable peeler to do this, but make sure there is no white pith on the zest – it is very bitter), and the vanilla bean and seeds. Bring to the boil and boil for 2 minutes. Take off the heat, and when it is at room temperature, remove the vanilla bean and add the juice of the lime. Set aside until ready to serve. You can do this a day ahead and store in the fridge until about an hour before needed. When ready to serve, carefully spoon the yoghurt into four lovely glasses. Halve the peaches and carefully remove the stones. In a medium sized, non-stick fry pan heat the butter until it begins to bubble. Place the peach halves, cut side down, in the pan and cook for about 3 -4 minutes on medium heat. Take off the heat and place on a dinner plate, cut side up, in a single layer, and pour over half the syrup. Carefully turn the peaches over and spoon the syrup that is in the plate over the peaches. Turn them over one more time and cut each peach half into three or 4 wedges. Top each glass with a few peach pieces and serve. Pass the remainder of the peaches around, along with the left-over syrup, so people can top up their glass with lime infused, peach wonderment.