In this recipe we use the exquisite Calanda peaches to offer you our updated take on a delicious Spanish classic dessert: melocotones con vino.
Cooking pears in a wine-based syrup is a popular dessert recipe all around Spain. Having said that, I come from Aragón, a region blessed with some of the most delicious peaches you can find in Planet Earth: the Calanda peaches…a strong reason why in Aragón we rather use ‘melocotones’ (Spanish for peaches) than pears for this recipe.
The Calanda peaches are a deliciously sweet and firm variety of peach that are individually bagged so that the fruit grows protected from the strong winds as well as from the ever present fruit-biting flies living in the area. The paper bags generate a unique microclimate which is also ideal to create the perfect levels of sweetness in the fruit, producing peaches which are not only perfect-looking but also great in flavour.
The bad news is that most of the production gets sold within the Spanish national market, so it is most likely that you won’t be able to find them in your nearest supermarket. No worries though, just find some ripe but firm peaches and go ahead with the recipe. I am well confident that you will find these ‘melocotones en vino’ surprisingly good!
Note: The traditional way to serve this recipe is without the yogurt mousse or the wine sorbet, which are of course optional. I like them because I think they add some lightness and acidity to the otherwise overpowering sweetness of the dish.
Calanda peaches cooked in wine syrup, with yogurt mousse and wine sorbet
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Passive time: 2 hours
- We start by peeling the peaches. We want to make sure they keep their perfect shape, so the best option is to blanch them. To do this, bring to a boil enough water to cover the peaches, then add the peaches to the pot and cook them for one minute. Take them out and let them cool down. The peel will come off easily.
- Halve the peaches and remove the bone. Place them inside a heavy-bottomed saucepan together with the wine, the sugar, the cinnamon and the zests. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 20 minutes, turning the peaches upside down very carefully after 10 minutes. The peaches should be cooked but they should still keep their shape. Let them cool down.
- Strain the wine juice, pour a third of it into a baking tray and place it in the freezer. This is what we will use for the wine sorbet later on.
- Simmer and reduce the rest of the juice until you are left with only half of the volume. It should thicken enough to acquire a syrup-like consistency.
Making the yogurt mousse:
- Hidrate the gelatine leaf in a bowl with cold water for a couple of minutes. Then take the water out of the bowl and dissolve the gelatine with a tablespoon of hot water.
- In a bowl, whip the cream slightly, not too much. Then add the yogurts and the gelatine. Mix it all thoroughly and let it cool down. Fill a pastry piping bag with the mixture and reserve.
- To plate, place the peach halves on a plate and pour some of the wine syrup on top. Top them up with the yogurt mousse and a bit of wine sorbet that you will get by scratching the frozen layer of wine that we previously left inside the freezer.
You can use a kitchen brush to paint the bottom of the plate with the syrup for a good looking result. Decorate the plate with some mint leaves and always serve very cold!
For a vegan option, just replace the yogurt mousse diary for a vegan-friendly replacement or simply avoid it altogether.