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    Nectarines in Brandy with Lemon Grass

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    Nectarines in Brandy with Lemon Grass

    If you want to peel the nectarines, cover them with boiling water for a couple of minutes (just as you would when peeling tomatoes), then drain and peel before halving and stoning. Reduce the cooking time for peeled nectarines by 3-5 minutes.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 35 minutes
    • Total time: 50 minutes 50 minutes

    Makes: Makes 2 x 450g jars

    Ingredients

    • 4 stems lemon grass
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 225g caster sugar
    • 300ml water
    • 1kg (about 8) nectarines
    • 200-300ml good brandy such as Remy Martin

    Method

    1. Sterilise 2 x 450g Kilner jars either by running them through a dishwasher cycle or washing them in hot, soapy water then rinsing thoroughly and drying in a low oven. Set aside.
    2. Put the lemon grass and bay leaves in a large, non-corrodible saucepan with half the sugar and the water. Set over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
    3. Halve and stone the nectarines. Drop half the nectarines, cut-side down, into the syrup and poach gently for about 10 minutes or until tender. Scoop out the nectarines with a slotted spoon and transfer to a strainer, taking care to save all the cooking syrup that drains off them. Add the remaining nectarines to the hot syrup in the pan and repeat the process, then leave the fruit to cool.
    4. Meanwhile, clip a thermometer on to the side of the saucepan that contains the lemon grass syrup. Add the remaining sugar, along with any syrup drained from the nectarines, and place the saucepan over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring up to the boil and boil until it reaches 110°C. This will take approximately 15 minutes. Then leave to cool.
    5. Once cold, strain the syrup into a measuring jug, saving the lemon grass and bay leaves. Stir in the same quantity of brandy as syrup.
    6. Layer the cold nectarines in the two sterilised Kilner jars. Mix the brandy syrup thoroughly (the sugar syrup tends to sink to the bottom of the liquid) and pour over the nectarines in the jars. Make sure they are covered by about 2.5cm of liquid. If there is not enough liquid, add more brandy. Tuck the lemon grass and bay leaves into the jars. Seal and store in a cool, dark cupboard for 2-3 months before eating.

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    Serving tips

    Serve with ice cream, clotted cream or crème fraîche.

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    5 stars