The peaches we’re seeing at the moment are some of the best we’ve ever tried. Unlike most of the stone fruits available our peaches have been grown in Italy with long, hot days and fertile soil. They’re shipped here in straw and, by the time they’ve been delivered to us, they have become heavy with sticky, sweet juice; velvety and blushed with deep purple.
Peaches, a relation of almonds, love being paired with alcohol. Whether it’s Italian style, berry rich red wine with hints of spice and black pepper or a straight up, no nonsense southern USA caramel hit of bourbon and fruit, they both need to be served cold on a hot summer’s day.
Pesche al Vino Rosso QB (Peaches in Red Wine)
QB, often seen in Italian cookbooks, stands for ‘quanta basta’ meaning ‘as much is enough’ or ‘to taste’. This is very much the spirit of this recipe.
Take one ripe peach per person and cut into wedges. Mix with 1 tbsp of granulated sugar per peach and mix very gently with a squeeze of lemon juice. Rest for 5-10 minutes.
Divide the peach slices into small glasses and pour in just enough red wine to cover. Leave to macerate in the fridge for at least an hour. Serve with cream if you must.
Peach and Bourbon Sorbet (without an ice cream maker)
If you don’t like bourbon, or just don’t fancy it in your sorbet, you can leave it out of the recipe below but make sure to let it soften a little before serving as the alcohol helps obtain a slightly softer scoop.
5 large yellow peaches
100ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch of salt
A heavy slug of good bourbon
Peel the peaches and puree them in a food processor.
Stir in all the ingredients except the whiskey and pour into a shallow pan or tray (the kind you would cook brownies in works well).
Put the mix in the freezer and leave for roughly an hour. After this time the edges of the mix will start to freeze. Roughly stir them back into the mix.
Repeat this process every 45 minutes to an hour until the mixture is evenly slushy, about 4 or 5 hours.
Finally add a heavy handed swig of bourbon (or rye, if you're that way inclined) and pour the mix into a more suitable, lidded container - probably one that fits better into your inevitably crowded freezer.
To serve, either leave to stand and scoop into balls or, for the impatient, firmly scrape with a spoon for a slightly granita-esque, crystalline texture (like in the picture...)