Thank you, Julia Child, for teaching me to get serious about learning to cook, but not take myself too seriously in the kitchen; and to not be afraid of butter.
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child
Inspired to celebrate what would have been Julia’s 100th birthday on August 15, 2012, my friend, Carrie, and I organized a French feast for a few friends. To see our birthday dinner menu, and the recipe for Julia’s melt-in-your-mouth Poulet Mornay Gratiné, check out Carrie’s recent blog post, For Julia, with Love.
My contribution to the Julia-inspired meal was a selection of French cheeses from our new neighborhood cheese shop and a dessert.
Dessert crêpes seemed an obvious choice to celebrate Julia. I’m a huge fan of crêpes, but I hardly ever make them.
Of course, I wanted to make some tea foodie tweaks to my dish, so I poached local Colorado peaches in a syrup flavored with Jasmine Green tea and vanilla beans.
The combination of fruity white wine, sweet peaches and floral jasmine tea in the poaching liquid made for a light and lovely summer dessert flavor.
The tea-poached peaches were delicious served over Julia’s crêpes with a dash of cream, but they also taste great on their own or spooned over vanilla ice cream.
What’s your favorite Julia Child-inspired dish?
Happy cooking and sipping!
Jasmine Tea-Poached Peaches (a la Julia)
By Suzanne Klein, Tea Foodie. Inspired by the Pêches Cardinal recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and adapted from the Poached Peaches with Vanilla recipe on Epicurious.com.
Makes 8 to 10 servings
2 cups fruity white wine (I used a Chablis)
1 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons honey
2 vanilla beans, cut in half and then split down the middle lengthwise to expose the seeds
2 tablespoons of your favorite loose leaf Jasmine Green tea
2 ½ lbs firm but ripe peaches (about 5 or 6 large), sliced into ½-inch thick wedges
1. Combine the wine, water, sugar and honey in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla beans and loose leaf tea, cover, and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes. Strain the syrup mixture into a new, larger saucepan. Discard the tea leaves and vanilla beans.
2. Carefully add the sliced peaches to the strained syrup mixture. Bring to a simmer, and cook until peaches are just tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. You don’t want the peaches to get too soft here because they will continue to soften in the liquid as it cools.
3. Remove the peaches and syrup from heat and transfer to a wide casserole dish. Refrigerate until cold, at least a few hours. Peaches can be served cold, at room temperature, or re-warmed slightly over low heat.
- The peaches will keep a few days in the syrup in the refrigerator, but they will continue to soften and turn slightly brown, so they are much more visually appealing when served the day they are made.
- Use some of the poaching syrup to flavor whipped cream, smoothies, iced tea or cocktails.
- Try different flavored teas in the poaching base. An Earl Grey tea would be a light and citrus-y option. Or a Chai tea would make for a nicely spiced fall dish.
8 Comments Add yours
The peaches look amazing! I used to watch Julia’s t.v. show. I can’t remember the name of the cake, but I made one of hers after watching the show. It had a caramel cage over top and was decorated with fresh violets. The only problem was that I couldn’t figure out how to cut the cage!
Thanks, Laurie! Your Julia cake sounds adventurous. I have the DVD set for her French Chef show. She makes a cake on one show that I love. It’s her Queen of Sheba cake, a chocolate cake with almonds and chocolate ganache. I’m not great at cake making, but that one was pretty easy to do.
Anything with almonds and Chocolate Ganache has got to be wonderful.
This dessert tastes as good as it looks! Thanks Suzanne for co-hosting!
Thanks, Carrie. As always, it’s such fun panning meals and cooking with you.
Beautiful Suzanne! (Look, I’m able to share my comments….finally.) I’m going to post to my FB page.
Thanks, Janet! We missed you at our dinner.