Poached Peaches and Bay Custard

Serves 4


For the peaches

  • 4 peaches, ripe but still firm
  • 650ml water
  • 400g golden granulated sugar
  • 150ml white wine
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut lengthways
  • 50ml brandy (optional)

For the bay custard

  • 250ml double cream
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 125g egg yolks (approximately 5 eggs)
  • 2 tsp cornflour


To poach the peaches, combine the water, wine, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in a large saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Gently lower in the peaches, cover with a round piece of parchment or baking paper and poach for about 15 minutes, until just tender. Remove from the heat and lift out the peaches with a slotted spoon to cool. Return the liquid to the heat, add the brandy (optional) and cook to reduce by half until syrupy.

To make the bay custard, gently heat the milk and cream with the bay leaves. Take off the heat just when it comes under a boil and allow the bay to infuse for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs and cornflour and pour the hot milk over the eggs passing through a sieve to remove the bay. Return the mixture to a clean pan and cook very gently, stirring continuously, until lightly thickened and the cornflour is cooked out. Empty into a cold clean jug, set over ice, to stop the cooking process. Cover with cling film to prevent a skin forming. 

When you are ready to serve, pour a puddle of custard onto a plate and place the cooked peach in the middle and spoon over some cooking liquor. Best served at room temperature.