Start playing the Sam Cooke piece that Tom Moon recommends as people are midway through the peaches. They're a nice sensual segue into slow dance or just quiet murmurs. From the point of view of you, the cook, there's no cooking, just assemble, refrigerate and let it happen.
Cook to Cook: These peaches use an old jam maker's trick. Macerating the fruit in sugar concentrates its sweetness while drawing out its juices, creating a nectar-like syrup. You add wine because alcohol releases a wide range of flavors than any other substance. All this alchemy aside, the recipe is nearly effortless.
Copyright 2009 Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Serves 4 to 6 and doubles easily
4 large ripe, fragrant peaches or nectarines, peeled and pitted and sliced into 8 wedges each
5 to 8 tablespoons sugar
about 1 cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio, Vinho Verde, or Sauvignon Blanc)
4 to 6 sprigs fresh mint or lemon verbena
1. Layer peaches or nectarines in an attractive glass serving bowl. Layer the fruit, sprinkling each strata with a tablespoon or so of sugar. Use less sugar rather than more. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.
2. Taste the fruit for sweetness adding more sugar as needed. Pour in wine to barely cover, turning fruit gently with a spatula to blend. Cover again and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours.
3. Take the fruit out of the refrigerator 30 to 45 minutes before serving. Present the peaches by spooning them and their liquid into wine glasses and finishing with sprigs of mint or lemon verbena.
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