Roast yellow-fleshed peaches with lemon thyme and vanilla

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The blanching of the peaches for this typical Provençal dish is simply to make them easier to skin, as with tomatoes. Lift the peaches out one by one with a slotted spoon after 20 seconds or so and see if the skin comes away readily; if not, drop them back in the boiling water for a few seconds longer.

Ingredients

  • 6 large yellow peaches (not too ripe)
  • large bowl of iced water
  • 100 g butter
  • 1 vanilla pod, split
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 4 sprigs of lemon thyme
  • Splash of any stone fruit liqueur, such as Crème de Pêche, Pêches de Vigne or Maraschino

Method

Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas 2.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Score the peaches in a criss-cross on both their tops and bottoms. Blanch in the boiling water for about 20–30 seconds only (see above) and immediately chill in the iced water. Carefully remove the skins and set the peeled peaches aside.

Heat the butter in a small pan until it starts to foam and turn nut-brown in colour. Add the vanilla pod, sugar, thyme and liqueur.

Put the peaches in a large pan, preferably a large ovenproof frying pan, and pour over the butter mixture together with 3 tablespoons of water. Gently roast in the preheated oven until tender, about 15–20 minutes, basting them frequently with their seeping juices.

Take out, leave to cool and serve at room temperature.