Peaches Poached in Lemongrass Syrup with Macadamia Praline

From issue #6.
Peaches Poached in Lemongrass Syrup with Macadamia Praline
Summer sweet, indulge in the best of the seasons stone fruit

Serves: 8


8 peaches, firm but ripe

1 litre water
500 grams caster sugar
3cm piece fresh ginger
1 stalk lemongrass
1 cinnamon stick,
2 whole star anise

Macadamia Praline
200 grams macadamia nuts
300 grams caster sugar
¼ cup water


Syrup: Place the water and sugar in a pot just large enough to hold the peaches. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Peel and slice the ginger and cut the lemongrass in half lengthways, crushing it gently to allow the flavour to be released. Add to the syrup with the whole spices and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the peaches and reduce the heat to a simmer. Place a circle of baking paper over the peaches and put a plate on top. This keeps the fruit under the syrup. Poach for about 10 minutes. The time will depend on the ripeness of the fruit. When tender, carefully remove the peaches with a slotted spoon and allow to cool a little.

Using a small knife, peel off the skins and discard. Place the peaches in a dish deep enough to hold the syrup. Strain the syrup through a sieve and place back over the heat. Boil for 10 minutes to reduce and thicken a little. Allow the syrup to cool then pour it over the fruit.

Praline: Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with either a teflon sheet or spray it with a little canola oil. Roast the nuts in the oven until golden, cool and roughly chop. Place the sugar and water in a heavy based saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Make sure all the sugar is dissolved before allowing it to boil. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush down any sugar caught on the side of the pot. Cook until the syrup is a deep golden colour then quickly stir in the macadamias.

Pour onto the baking tray and spread out with a heatproof spatula or oiled metal spatula. Allow to set. When cold, break into pieces and pulverize half in a food processor. Keep in an airtight container.

To serve: Place the peaches in individual bowls or in one large bowl and pour over the syrup. Sprinkle the ground praline over the peaches and serve the larger bits in a bowl. Serves 8