The end result can be used for breakfast, with dessert, or to make a very attractive coloured, and flavoured, drink. Frozen Australian raspberries work well in it, too.
This flavour combination, reminiscent of the classic Peach Melba, makes for a lovely syrup.
- 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
- 1.5 litres water
- 2 lemons
- 1 kg ripe peaches, cut into wedges
- 250 g (2 cup) raspberries
- 220 g (1 cup) superfine caster sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
This recipe makes about 4 cups.
Standing time 2 hours
Place the vanilla pod and the water in a very large saucepan and put over a high flame. Bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes, and then remove the vanilla bean (it can be dried and then used for vanilla sugar or in custard).
Juice the lemons and keep both the juice and the rinds.
Bring the vanilla water back to the boil, turn off, then immediately add the fruit, including the lemon halves but not the lemon juice. The water should just cover the fruit, if not, boil the kettle and top up.
Leave this mixture to stand until cool, about 2 hours at least. Drain out the fruit (don’t press it through the sieve, just let gravity do the work), and whisk in the lemon juice, then whisk sugar into the liquid to taste. It’s a concentrate, so it should be quite sweet and flavoursome, but not cloying. You can keep the steeped fruit for use in breakfast trifle or similar, though it will have lost some of its wonder to the syrup.
Transfer the syrup to sterilised bottles and store in the fridge for up to a month before using.