Rose´-poached Nectarines with Mascarpone
Fruit poached in wine and spices is just that, and yet it’s so much more. It always tastes like some kind of miracle the way the juices of the fruit ooze out so willingly and complement the sugared syrup of the wine and piquancy of the spices. It’s poetry to me. It’s also one of my favorite default desserts – you can poach figs, berries, pears, apples – the list is almost endless, and it’s the epitome of low maintenance. In this case it’s nectarines that take centre stage for an enchanting little post-dinner treat.
Serves 4 | Preparation time 5 minutes | Cooking time 15 minutes
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
4 medium-sized ripe nectarines, stones removed and cut into sixths
1 cup rose´ wine (red or white will also do)
4-5 cardamom pods (gently pressed in a pestle and mortar so that they crack open to release their full flavour)
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 tsp vanilla extract/paste (essence will also do)
2-3 Tbsp sugar
WHAT TO DO
1. In a medium-sized saucepan on med-high heat, add the wine, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla and sugar (all ingredients except the nectarines). Bring to the simmer and reduce the heat to low-medium.
2. Meanwhile, cut around the centre of each nectarine and pull apart into two halves. Remove the stone, and then slice each half into three of four slices.
3. Add the nectarines to the wine syrup and leave to simmer for a further 10-15 minutes. Taste the syrup intermittently, checking that the sweetness is to your taste – add more sugar if not.
4. Serve with vanilla ice cream or a good dollop of mascarpone (as per the picture).
* Can be made up to 1 day in advance, stored in airtight container in the fridge, and then re-heated gently before serving.
* Also works well with frozen berries direct from the freezer.
* I usually peel apples or pears before poaching, but not nectarines, peaches or figs.