Peaches with basil sugar

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Peaches with basil sugar sounded most odd. My English mother-in-law calls most Sundays, and last time, she mentioned that she had served peaches with basil sugar the night before. Given the piles of fragrant peaches spilling out of the fruit and veg places here (the few that are open, as it is the height of Italian holidays) I thought I might as well have a go. She is a good cook, and her food recommendations are reliable. Here is my approximation.

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Peaches with basil sugar

Three peaches, halved and stoned
30 g fresh basil leaves
75 g plain white sugar

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Put the basil leaves and sugar in a food processor, and blend until you have a relatively smooth mixture. Mine was like pesto, but a drier consistency would be fine. Mincing the basil finely and mixing it with the sugar would work too. Halve the peaches, remove the stones, and spoon a teaspoon or so of basil sugar into the hollow of each sliced peach. Leave to macerate for an hour or so. It does not need to be in the fridge. The peaches may leak a bit, as juices are released, so when you are ready for dessert, just move them to a clean plate and serve.

Notes: it was surprisingly nice! Slightly different. Italian peaches are so sweet that extra sugar is not needed, and these were quite juicy, but it was still a nice dessert. Easy to make in advance for a dinner party, as we did, as the basil sugar-topped peaches need some time to macerate. In retrospect, I was probably meant to make a drier basil-flecked sugar, not a pesto-like mix. Mincing the basil very finely might have worked as well, it would have been easier to control the moisture levels. Still, this was nice and I will certainly try it again with other fruit later. And I will have to ask my mother-in-law just how she did it when she calls on Sunday.

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Here the peaches reappeared for lunch for two the next day: Bruschetta with ricotta and basil-sugar peaches. Toast two slices of bread, spread with a little ricotta, and garnish with two halves of basil-sugar peaches, sliced.

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