Melon and Peaches in Jasmine Tea Syrup

Ingredients

  • 3 oz / 85 g sugar
  • 7 fl oz / 200 ml water
  • 2 tsp jasmine tea leaves
  • 6 firm, ripe peaches
  • 1 ripe melon
  • lemon juice, to taste

Method

Boil the sugar and water together to make a syrup, and pour it over the jasmine tea leaves. Peel the peaches with a very sharp knife, and slice them into a glass bowl. Cut the melon in half, remove the seeds and scoop the flesh out in small balls or chunks, ensuring that the juice is not lost but caught in the glass bowl. When the tea syrup is cool and well infused, strain it over the fruit, add lemon juice to taste, and chill until required.

Variations

Melon is also very good with slices of apple in a ginger and honey syrup. To make the syrup, use 3 tablespoons of clear honey instead of the sugar, and then stir in tiny strips of fresh root ginger. Simmer this for a few minutes, and allow to stand overnight before pouring over the prepared fruit.

You could also try melon on its own in mint syrup. For this you infuse a handful of fresh mint leaves in the sugar syrup, instead of the jasmine tea leaves. Prunes are also good in mint syrup. Put them directly into the hot syrup, allow to cool, and then leave refrigerated for at least 24 hours. Remove the now discoloured mint leaves before serving.

Experiment with different types of fruit in any of the syrups suggested. Try strawberries, for example, in the jasmine tea syrup. You can also experiment with the flavouring of the syrup. Strawberries are good in a red wine syrup, heightened with cinnamon, and sliced nectarines in a lime and honey syrup are also very good. Use lime zest and-juice to flavour the honey syrup.

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