Friday, February 21, 2014

52WoC Week 7: Poaching - Champagne Poached Nectarines

I'm kind of obsessed with poached fruit. Port poached pears? They're delicious AND a top notch alliteration. Tender pears surrounded by the most beautiful purple1 syrup that I would be willing to slurp up with a straw; it's just unbelievably tasty. But you know what the one problem with port poached pears is? It's not classy enough. How do you make something classy? Add champagne. My illusion of champagne being some royal, upper-class exclusive drink was shattered years ago when Andre was passed freely around frat parties. But it my mind, champagne still has an aura of class. Birdman dedicated an ENTIRE song to champagne - it is nothing but class. So why not poach some fruit in champagne?

Poaching fruit is very easy, fairly quick, and almost always tastes good. Combine sugar and liquid, simmer for a while with fruit, and enjoy. It really is that simple. You are left with tender fruit with a thick complex syrup that accompanies ice cream perfectly. In this case, the base for the syrup is champagne. Honestly, a sweet white wine would definitely work here, as you don't need the carbonation, but when was the last time you celebrated with white wine? Never. Always champagne. The use of nectarines is also easily replaced with something such as peaches or even pears but quite honestly, I just enjoy nectarines. When it's all said and done and you serve this over ice cream, it tastes like an adult version of peaches and cream. And that's something everyone can enjoy, not just 112.

Champagne Poached Nectarines

Qty Ingredient Procedure
750 mL (1 bottle) champagne
  1. Start poaching liquid with champagne, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon over medium heat.
1/2 cup2 sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick cinnamon
3 nectarines
  1. Drop nectarines in boiling water for 30 seconds. Quickly place in an ice bath. Peel nectarines.
  2. Cut in half and remove pit.
  3. Add to syrup and simmer for 10-15 minutes until tender.
  4. Remove nectarines and reduce poaching liquid to syrup consistency.

Start off my making your poaching liquid which eventually become your syrup. Combine the champagne, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in a sauce pan. Be careful combining these, when the sugar is added to the champagne it can cause it erupt more violently than your elementary school science fair project. Bring up to a simmer and keep at a simmer.

This step is completely optional but I think it makes for a cleaner dessert. You are going to quickly boil the nectarines then put them in an ice bath to shock them, this will make the nectarines jump out of their skins. In a separate sauce pan, bring some water to a boil. Have a container filled with ice water nearby. Boil a nectarine for about 30 seconds then dunk it in the ice bath. This should make it so the skins of the nectarines comes right off. Peel the nectarines.

Cut the nectarines in half and take the pits out. Put in the poaching liquid and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until desired tenderness. Remove the nectarines from the liquid and let liquid reduce until you have approximately 1/3 of the starting volume. I like to eat mine served warm with a nice big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

  1. Unbiased, Ravens purple is the best purple.  
  2. Depending on how sweet your champagne is, this amount could change. For the bottle I used, I ended up using just under 1/2 cup. Start with 1/3 cup and work your way up if you're worried about it being too sweet. 

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