Sunday, January 16, 2011

Recipe: Spiced Peaches - The Cookbook Challenge Week 1

Theme:  Stone fruits

Cookbook:  The Margaret Fulton Cookery Course - Part 28 - circa 1970s

I came across the Cookbook Challenge late last year and thought what a great opportunity to explore new recipes, hone my food photography skills and revisit the hundreds of cookbooks I've been collecting throughout my life.

I come from a line of cooks - my mother earned her living as a cook, my grandmother also and whilst they were never professionally trained, the food they served was always inspirational.  It was through watching both these women cook when I was a child that I developed my own love of cooking. Combine that with a passion for photography and the Cookbook Challenge seemed like fun - 26 recipes on a theme over 52 weeks - cooked, photographed and blogged.

The challenge for Week 1 was 'Stone Fruit'.  Peaches are my favourite fruit with their beautiful golden flesh, velvety skin and their sweet perfume alone reminds me of summer.

My recipe comes from a set of cookbooks I was given as a child in the late 60s or early 70s.   The matriarch of Australian cooking, Margaret Fulton published a weekly cookery course and I'd spend hours looking at the beautiful images and reading the recipes and information.

40 years later these recipes still delight those who try them.

Spiced Peaches

4 large yellow peaches
4 tablespoons brown sugar
16 whole cloves
45 grams (1 1/2 oz) butter (I used much less with good results)

The recipe suggests:  "Delicious as a dessert or a welcome substitute for vegetables, with hot ham or duck". 
Pour boiling water over the peaches, allow to stand for 3 minutes and then skin, halve and stone them. 

Marg Fulton still teaches me today - I had no idea how easy it is to peel peaches using this method!

Arrange in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with the brown sugar and a little cinnamon and nutmeg.

Pierce each peach half with 2 cloves.  Cut butter into small pieces, scatter over peaches, slip under the grill for 5 minutes or until heated through.


This is an old fashioned recipe that put a smile on the faces of my family.    By cutting down on the butter it appeased those who are sticking to their health regime.   If wanting to be a little indulgent the peaches would be extra delicious with vanilla ice-cream, custard or a dollop of cream.

I just wish someone would invent aroma-net - the perfume of cinnamon, cloves and peaches was ... sigh!

What's your favourite stone fruit?

The challenge for Week 2?    Citrus
Cooked with love,
Annie x


  1. I love simple desserts like this. I think I'd skip peeling the peaches though to make it even simpler. ;-)

  2. I remember this series of books from my childhood. I love it that you are using them! A classic mix of spices too, and cloves simply aren't used enough anymore. What a great recipe.
    Favourite stonefruit- apricots.

  3. Looks wonderful and your photography is just beautiful!

  4. Your dish looks beautiful. Cinnamon and nutmeg are my few favourite spices, and I can imagine how wonderful these peaches must have tasted! Yet another recipe to add to my collection. I've been on a peach recipe craze after the stonefruit theme !

  5. oh no- my mother and I just through out our full set of these cooking pamphlets- I must see if I can get them back. Amazing photos and the peeling peaches trick is awesome.

  6. Thanks katejf. I couldn't believe how well the peaches peeled after plunging in boiling water. So good!

  7. Absolutely beautiful Ann, I can just imagine the aroma!

  8. I love any stonefruit as long as its sweet which is usually something like sugar plums-yum! This looks great! I've only made vanilla poached peaches but I like the sound of the other spices :)

  9. these look wonderful - my mum had a margaret fulton cookbook and I loved pouring over magazines with her recipes in them as a child