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Bourbon-Infused Peaches with Crème Anglaise

Prepare this sous vide dessert in the midst of summer, when peaches are at their peak of flavor.

Ingredients:

For the peaches:

  • 1 cup simple syrup (see related recipe at left)
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 peaches, cut in half and pits removed

For the crème anglaise:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/8 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped, and seeds and pod reserved
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

To prepare the peaches, set the Sous Vide Professional to 180°F (82.2°C), with the rear pump flow switch closed and the front flow switch set to fully open.

In a small saucepan, combine the simple syrup, bourbon and basil leaves and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool. Remove the basil leaves and discard.

Place the peach halves in a medium vacuum bag and add the bourbon syrup.

Seal the bag to 99.9%, full vacuum.

Once the target temperature of 180°F (82.2°C) is reached, place the bag in the circulating water bath.

Cook the peaches to the desired doneness, 30 to 45 minutes.

Remove the bag from the circulating water and place the sealed bag in an ice bath. Remove the bag from the ice bath and remove the peaches from the bag. The peach skin will peel off easily.

To prepare the crème anglaise, set the Sous Vide Professional to 179°F (82°C), with the rear pump flow switch closed and the front flow switch set to fully open. Make sure your cooking tank has approximately a 3-gallon capacity and is covered.

In a blender, combine the egg yolks, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and salt (do not blend the vanilla pods). Blend on high speed for 15 to 30 seconds (this breaks up the chalazae on the egg yolks so you don’t need to strain the finished sauce).

Pour the mixture into a vacuum bag, add the vanilla bean pod and vacuum seal the bag, removing as much air as you can.

Once the target temperature of 179°F (82°C) is reached, place the bag in the circulating water bath.

Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Crème anglaise cooked for 15 minutes will be thin and will just coat a spoon; it will be thicker if cooked for 20 minutes. Avoid cooking longer than 25 minutes, as the crème anglaise can take on an “eggy” aroma, although it will not curdle.

Remove the bag from the circulating water, wrap it in a kitchen towel and massage it for 2 to 3 minutes. If you omit this step, the crème anglaise will look lumpy. Place the bag in a cold water or ice bath to chill. For best results refrigerate overnight. Serve the crème anglaise with the peaches. Serves 2.

Adapted from a recipe by PolyScience.