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Peaches in Rose Syrup

(recipe, Diana Henry)

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Peaches are beautiful with pistachios and roses, so this is a gorgeous-looking dish. If you have perfectly ripe peaches that aren’t too big, they’ll look good left whole, but halve and pit them if you prefer — it does make the cooking time quicker.


    1. 3¼ cups white wine
    2. ¾ cup sugar
    3. 2 strips lemon zest
    4. Juice of ½ lemon
    5. 6 peaches (white ones if you can get them)
    6. 2 tsp. rose water, or to taste
    1. 1 small handful of pistachios, coarsely chopped
    2. Deep-red rose petals, shredded or torn


    1. Put the wine, sugar, lemon zest, and juice into a saucepan big enough to hold the peaches as well. Bring gently to a boil, stirring from time to time to help the sugar dissolve.
    2. Leave the peaches whole and add them to the wine mixture. Poach gently, turning them over every so often, until they are just tender. The length of time this takes depends on how ripe the peaches are. Remove the peaches and boil the poaching liquid until it is reduced and slightly syrupy. Leave to cool — the liquid will thicken more as it cools — then add the rose water.
    3. Carefully remove the skins from the peaches (they should just slip off) and halve them. Pour the syrup over the cooked peaches and chill. Throw some chopped pistachios and shredded rose petals over the top and serve.


    Variation: Add a small bunch of basil leaves to the poaching liquid, then remove them once the syrup has cooled. Use fresh basil leaves for serving. The basil flavor works well with red as well as white wine.