A ripe peach, dripping with juices and eaten out of hand, is one of summer's most memorable pleasures. But those same peaches, poached in...
A ripe peach, dripping with juices and eaten out of hand, is one of summer’s most memorable pleasures. But those same peaches, poached in a wine syrup with a fragrant sprig of cinnamon basil, present an unexpected collaboration of ingredients that’s equally unforgettable.
Although the following is not meant to be a definitive list — you may have your own favorite pairings — here are some ideas for combining stone fruits with complimentary flavors. Use this as a guide for creating your own pairing pleasures.
Apricot flavor affinities: Pure vanilla and almond extracts, dark brown sugar; freshly grated lemon zest and juice, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, nectarines, peaches; freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and cardamom; mint, Mexican tarragon; almonds, hazelnuts; brandy, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Kirsch.
Nectarine flavor affinities: Almonds, hazelnuts; blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, figs, lemon, lime; basil, cinnamon basil, mint; brown sugar, caramel; cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, vanilla; framboise, champagne.
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Peach flavor affinities: Almonds, hazelnuts, pecans; apricots, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, red currants, plums, citrus fruits (lemon, lime, orange); basil, cinnamon basil, Mexican tarragon; cinnamon, cloves, ginger, vanilla; brown sugar, caramel, honey, maple syrup; bourbon, brandy, Cassis, champagne, framboise, Grand Marnier, Kirsch, rum.
Plum/Italian plum flavor
affinities: Almonds, walnuts; apricots, cherries, grapefruit, lemon, oranges, peaches, rhubarb; basil, mint; brown sugar, caramel, honey; cinnamon, ginger, vanilla; brandy, Muscat, Sauternes, red wine.
Sources: “Culinary Artistry” by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page; “Baking by Flavor” by Lisa Yockelson; “The Herbfarm Cookbook” by Jerry Traunfeld