Ripe stone fruit such as peaches, nectarines and plums are macerated in a fragrant lemon thyme syrup and served with crème fraiche in this easy warm weather dessert.
Fresh, juicy stone fruit are in abundance. For now at least…
Whether you’ve stumbled on a plump peach or a rosy, red specked nectarine, stone fruit are one of summer’s simplest and best indulgences; a fleeting pleasure not to be missed.
During the warmer months, desserts are a fairly simple affair around my house. A ripe bowl of fruit is kept out on the table, something quick and easy to grab as a light and refreshing end to a meal. Sometimes dessert just needs to be that easy.
When not eating them directly out of hand, I find myself gravitating towards simple preparations with a minimal amount of effort, (we are after all in the lazy days of summer.)
The herb/spice and fruit pairing is a classic one that I have a particular affinity for especially when served with a little dollop of something rich and creamy on the side.
Fresh herbs and spices are stone fruit’s perfect partners, further enhancing and embellishing nature’s candy. Early this summer it was fruit poached with vanilla beans and served with yogurt, then with spiced honey and fromage blanc, and now lemon and thyme with crème fraiche.
The liveliness of the ripe fruit, the subtle fragrant backdrop of fresh thyme and the richness of the crème fraiche, makes for a bewitching combination.
Slices of peaches, nectarines and plums that have been macerated in a lemon thyme syrup soften just slightly, the warm slices of fruit melding lusciously with the crème fraiche and topped with a sprinkle of toasted almond slices.
There’s no impressive technique or long list of ingredients behind this easy but elegant dessert. With a small amount of effort and just a few ingredients you’re on your way.
I advise you look for fruits that are ripe but still firm to ensure that they don’t become too soft when soaked in the herb-infused syrup but any you may have on hand really will do.
If crème fraiche isn’t your thing, feel free to substitute mascarpone, fromage blanc, Greek yogurt or even a scoop of ice cream. I should also tell you that the lemon-thyme syrup is also a wonderful addition to iced tea, so make extra to keep on hand.
Serves Serves 4 to 6
Fresh summer fruit is glazed with a honey and thyme syrup and served with a dollop of crème fraiche and almonds
30 minPrep Time
- 3/4 cup/ 180ml water
- ¼ cup/ 60ml fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup/ 120ml honey
- Handful of fresh thyme sprigs
- 4 or 5 nectarines, peaches and plums, sliced
- 2 to 4 oz crème fraiche (for serving)
- ¼ cup/ 28 g sliced almonds, lightly toasted
- Garnish: thyme sprigs; lemon zest
- Bring water, lemon juice, honey, and thyme to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until honey is dissolved. Simmer syrup until slightly reduced, (about 5 to 10 minutes). Remove from heat and steep covered for 15 minutes.
- Pour through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing on and discarding thyme.
- Put sliced fruit in a shallow bowl and drizzle with slightly warm syrup.
- Serve with crème fraiche and top with toasted almonds. Garnish with additional thyme sprigs and lemon zest if desired.