Put the water in a deep frying pan or saucepan (large enough to hold all the fruit), add the sugar and stir over a moderate heat until it has dissolved. Turn the heat up to high – but don’t stir from now on – and boil until the syrup begins to turn a golden colour. Then carefully add the peach halves and a few tablespoons of hot water, taking care as this can spit a little. Turn the heat down to moderate. Cook the peaches first with the cut side up for 4 minutes, then turn them over and cook until done (they should still feel a little firm when you insert a skewer). Let them cool in the liquid, then remove the skins.
The peaches are excellent with the pashka.
© 1997 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.