Anise Hyssop and Honey Poached Peaches and Cape Gooseberries

poached peaches top

I’ve had herb poached peaches on my mind since I saw this lovely recipe.

I mentioned that I planned to try poaching peaches in anise hyssop tea last week; local peaches have been spectacular this year, so I was eager to give this a try.

I decided to add cape gooseberries because I’d purchased them from the Farmer’s Market and I had no other plan for them. Have you ever seen/tried cape gooseberries? They grow in a skin like tomatillos.

cape gooseberries

I really like their flavor. If you can’t find them, though, don’t worry. Just use the peaches.

And if you don’t have anise hyssop, that doesn’t mean you can make some pretty poached peaches. You could try this with a different herbal infusion… or try a floral tea such as earl gray. You could also try using some wine in the poaching liquid, along with ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon. Anise hyssop has a natural sweetness, so I didn’t need a lot of extra sweetener. Depending on how sweet your peaches are and if you use a different poaching liquid, you might want to use more or less honey (or another sweetener).

To begin, you’ll make a tea from approximately 3 tablespoons of anise hyssop flowers (the purple buds you see below)…

anise hyssop

…and 2 cups of water. Let the tea to come to a boil, then allow it to cool. Transfer to a covered container, and let the flowers steep in the liquid overnight in the refrigerator.

Strain the flowers out, then put 6 sliced and pitted peaches in a pan with the tea. Add about 1 cup of peeled cape gooseberries, if you have them.

peeled gooseberry

Bring everything to a boil, add 3-4 tablespoons of honey (preferably raw honey), then simmer the fruit in the liquid for about 10 minutes.

Allow the peaches to cool a bit, then you’ll be able to easily lift off their skins, revealing the astoundingly beautiful (I mean really, aren’t they stunning?) peach halves. Set the peaches and the gooseberries aside, and return the poaching liquid to a small pot.

Add a bit more water, a generous splash of rum (or brandy) and about 1/4 cup of honey and bring the liquid to a boil. Allow it to cook without boiling over so that the poaching liquid reduces and thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Spoon some of the syrup over the peaches and the gooseberries before serving.

poached peaches 550

You can serve the poached peaches as is, or feel free to embellish with a dollop of creme fraiche or mascarpone cheese, a little vanilla ice cream, or homemade whipped cream.

poached peaches close-up

If you don’t finish all your peaches, store them in the refrigerator topped with any leftover syrup.

More poached peaches recipes you might like to try:
Poached Peaches with Vanilla from Epicurious
Poached Peaches with Raspberries from Baked Bree
Ginger and Vanilla Poached Peaches from The Wright Recipes

This recipe is linked to the 6th edition of Simple Lives Thursday and the 8/24/10 edition of Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

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13 thoughts on “Anise Hyssop and Honey Poached Peaches and Cape Gooseberries”

  1. Pingback: Bounty of Deliciousness in a Box: My First & Last CSA box | Kitchen Butterfly
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  3. Okay, the color of those poached peaches is so lovely- I want to wear that! Lovely recipe- and ground cherries/ cape gooseberries/ husk cherries- whatever name they’re going by- I always just eat them up- but next time I’ll be more patient and this is it!

  4. Interesting – those look just like my ground cherries. I wonder if that is just another name for the same plant? I love them! Thanks so much for linking up to Simple Lives Thursday.

  5. I grew gooseberries one year in my garden, and they re-seeded and came back every year. My mom’s favorite pie is gooseberry pie, and your photos are lovely btw. I’m poaching the peaches sitting on my counter, right now…

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  7. What a simple and beautiful dessert. I think that summer demands dishes like this. Instead of getting lost in an excess of butter or flour, these peaches are allowed to shine! I would love to serve this with some marscapone cheese. Delicious.

  8. This is SO pretty and sounds incredible! Gooseberries and peaches make the perfect combination. I can just taste it now! Excellent presentation. YUM!