Chardonnay and Agastache Poached Peaches with Grilled Pain D'Epices.

The last few weeks in Burgundy have been baking hot. The plants in the garden have wilted and those who tend the vines have been waking early to beat the fierce afternoon rise in temperature. Taking hints from those who cut and tidy the vines at this time of year I have been waking early get in some cycling and discover new routes. After a hot morning of cycling through the vines and back country of Burgundy nothing beats a cooling dessert on my return. 

Peaches from the south of France litter the tables in the local markets at this time of year, and the secret in this heat is to eat them as fast as you can before they turn and the flies have a go.  While there are few greater pleasures in life than taking on a peach whole, juices pouring down your cycling shirt, this recipe is a little more elegant. The agastaches (hyssop) provides a refreshing hint of aniseed to the syrup and the Pain D'épices a welcome boost of energy after a morning in the saddle. 


  • 2 Peaches (not too soft)
  • 2 cups left-over of chardonnay
  • 1 cup of water
  • a healthy sprig of agastaches (hyssop)
  • Sugar
  • Ginger bread and Crème Fraîche to serve.

Serves 4

  1. Cut the  peaches in half (through the equator) and place skin up in a small baking dish.
  2. In a small pan bring the wine and water to a gentle simmer. Add two table spoons of brown sugar stir until disolved. 
  3. Pour the wine syrup into the baking dish until it reaches about halfway up each peach. 
  4. Pluck four or five agastaches leaves from the garden and place in the baking dish with the peaches. 
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 150 (gas mark 2)
  6. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. Once cool drain away the wine syrup into a cup and remove any leaves.
  7. In your fingers pinch the peach skin and the halves of peach flesh will come away with ease. Place the flesh in a bowl and pour over the remaining syrup. 
  8. Place in the fridge for an hour to cool and serve with a slice or warm grilled ginger bread and some crème fraîche.