White Peach and Jasmine Ice

After recently tasting the amazing Kahili white pineapples, I decided to introduce Hawaii to Escoffier’s white peaches with pineapple ice and raspberry sauce (Pêches Rose Chéri), thirty years after first making the dish at Chez Panisse.

After poaching the peaches, I took my leis of pikake (jasmine) and pakalana flowers and put them into the syrup. Then, casually dipping my finger in the syrup and tasting the astonishing result, and inspired by the hauntingly beautiful flavors, I decided I should do something with this syrup alone (not just use it to store peaches). I turned the syrup into a sorbet. News that an outsider had shown Hawaiians how to cook Hawaiian was all over the radio and TV the next day.

Ingredients

  • 5 ripe white peaches
  • 6 cups medium sugar syrup
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ cup fresh jasmine flowers
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Method

Prepare a large ice bath.

Put the syrup in a nonreactive pan and bring to a simmer. Put the peaches in the syrup for 3 minutes, remove, and plunge them into the ice bath for 2 minutes.

Peel off the skin of all the peaches and put the skins back into the simmering syrup. Remove the pits, smash them in half, remove the peach kernels, and put them in the syrup also. Simmer the syrup for 30 minutes. Take the syrup off the heat, wait 5 minutes for it to cool slightly, and add the jasmine flowers. Let them steep for 1 hour. Strain the syrup, add the lime juice, and chill.

Chop the peaches and mix with 1 cup of the syrup.

Freeze the ice in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions and serve with the peaches.

Variation

Try Kahili pineapple mixed with mangosteen and passion fruit juices served in ice bowls in which yellow ginger flowers have been frozen.

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