Poached Vanilla Peaches

Recipe by Rebecca Dienner for The FruitGuys


  • 2 peaches, ripe (fragrant) but not too soft
  • 2 cups sweet white or dessert wine
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, agave, or sugar (see Cook’s note)
  • 2-inch length of vanilla bean pod, split (or 1–2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
  • Lemon peel zest strip


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil (large enough to fit peaches when covered with water).
  2. In the meantime, prepare a large bowl filled with cold water.
  3. Score an X into the bottom of each peach, place in boiling water, and blanch for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon and plunge into the bowl of cold water.
  5. Peel back the peels starting with the lifted corners created by the X score. Halve and pit peaches.
  6. In another large pot, combine wine, sweetener, split vanilla bean (or extract), and lemon peel (use a lemon zester to cut a length of thin strands or a vegetable peeler to slice a strip of peel, 1/4- to 1/2-inch wide).
  7. Cook on medium-low for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Ease peaches into the pot, cover, and gently simmer until tender; 6–12 minutes depending on the firmness of the peaches.
  9. With a slotted spoon, remove peaches and place in a bowl.
  10. Continue to simmer poaching liquid until reduced by half. This takes about 10 minutes.
  11. Let the liquid cool and poor over peaches.
  12. Place each halved peach in a serving dish, top with equal servings of liquid (about 1/4 cup each), and serve.

Serves 4 as a dessert. Prep time about 5–10 minutes; cook time, about 30–35 minutes.

Cook’s note: If using white peaches (which are lower in acid and naturally sweeter), reduce sweetener to 1–2 tablespoons. Poached peaches go well with freshly whipped cream and/or ice cream! The recipe may be doubled.

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