Preserved Pickled Peaches
When there's a glut of peaches going for a song on the market, that's the time to pickle some to keep for the winter.
They are lovely served with hot baked ham, roast pork or duck. If you're a vegetarian, these peaches go very well with cheese dishes. The recipe works well for nectarines too. To sterilise the jar, wash it thoroughly in warm soapy water, rinse and heat in a moderate oven for 5 minutes.
This recipe is from Delia's Summer Collection. Makes 1¾ pints (1 litre)
Begin by measuring the sugar, wine vinegar, lime juice, coriander seeds, peppercorns and shallots into a large saucepan or preserving pan.
Give everything a hefty stir, then place the pan on a low heat and allow to heat through, stirring from time to time until all the sugar has dissolved – don't let it come up to simmering point until all the granules of sugar have completely dissolved.
While that's happening put another saucepan of water on to boil. Then halve the peaches (by slitting them all round with a knife and twisting them in half), remove the stones and drop the peach halves into the boiling water, a few at a time, just for a few seconds. Remove them with a draining spoon and you should find that the skins slip off easily. Now place the skinned peach halves in the vinegar and sugar mixture, bring it up to simmering point and gently poach the fruit for 15 minutes or until tender when tested with a skewer. Use a draining spoon to remove the peaches and transfer them to the warmed preserving jar. Now boil the syrup rapidly to reduce it to approximately half its original volume, then pour it through a strainer over the peaches.
If you have any syrup left, reserve it as you will find that after about 24 hours the peaches will have absorbed some of their syrup and you can use the rest to top up.
Seal the jar and keep for 6 weeks before using.