This makes a useful and easy first course for an informal meal.
To make the sauce, heat the oil over a medium heat, add the onion and garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the curry paste, tomato paste, and cayenne pepper, stir, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except the cream, and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
Leave to cool, then purée the sauce in a blender. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If the sauce is too thick, add a little extra lemon juice or water. When the sauce is cold, fold in the cream - the amount used depends not only on the consistency of the sauce, but on whether a milder flavor is desired.
Both the peaches and sauce should be very cold for serving. Skin the peaches and cut in half, discarding the pit. Place half a peach on each small plate and coat with the curry sauce. Add a little shredded lettuce to the side of the plate and decorate with a little chopped parsley and/or some paprika.
© 1999 Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright estate. All rights reserved.