A friend of mine – a Greek musician named Costas – took me to visit his mother in the mountains of mainland Greece where she attempted to win my heart with spoon sweets and thick Greek coffee. She succeeded in her mission and, today, as summer gifts its bounty of sumptuous stone fruit you are more likely to see me following her recipes than making jars of jam. I make exactly three jars of any kind of fruit I can find. First up is this version made with super ripe peaches with a splash of orange blossom water to add a deeply beautiful floral note. Later in the year, I will add spiced apple and pumpkin varieties and, as winter begins to turn the corner, I will preserve Seville oranges, lemons and quince. When you have built up your library of flavours, serve each of them on small spoons to the people you love or, as I’ve done here, placed atop a couple of dollops tart Greek yoghurt with a drizzle of organic honey, a scattering of chopped pistachios and fragrant rose petals.
Yields one 500ml jar
3 large white peaches, skinned and cut into quarters
30g unrefined granulated sugar
A splash of water
Half a lemon, juiced
1 tsp of orange blossom water
A drizzle of Raphael’s Organic Greek thyme honey
Chopped pistachio nuts
Edible rose petals
How I make it
In a wide, heavy-bottomed pan, add the sugar and water. Bring to the boil.
Turn down the heat, add the peach segments and gently simmer for 15-20 minutes until you’ve achieved your desired consistency.
Take off the heat and allow the preserve to settle for a few minutes before adding the lemon juice and orange blossom water.
Pour into a sterilised jar, seal and store in the fridge.
Suggested wine pairing from Ben, Director of Novel Wines
For the delicate, summery finish of peach and orange blossom spoon sweets and the crunch of the pistachios, why not go wild with your dessert wine and choose the floral Kracher Beerenauslese Red Roses from 7-time winemaker of the year Alois Kracher. Made from the rare rose Muscat, this dessert wine combines rose oil and grapey tones with sweet honey, nutmeg, orange and fresh berries. A bit of a treat at £29.99 but worth every penny at Novel Wines. Vegan-friendly, 13.0% abv.
For more information about Raphael’s Mediterranean Deli products, please click this link.