FFWD: Poached apples and peaches

Lovely little recipe for spiced poached fruit last week. We had a couple of apples and one peach hanging around in the fridge, so that's what I poached. Poaching fruit is so simple - make a poaching syrup and then add the halved fruit, simmer until soft. This recipe was a lovely welcome to fall, with warm autumnal spice in the form of star anise, cinnamon, vanilla, and citrus zest.

I didn't do anything fancy to serve the poached apples and peach, just put them in a bowl and poured a little syrup over the top.

To be honest, I'm not a huge poached fruit fan, so I only had a few tastes (which were quite good),  but the mister loves poached apples or pears, and he gobbled up the rest.

I thought the leftover poaching syrup would be an excellent base for a mixed drink or two, and I was right. One of my favorite classic cocktails is a Bee's Knees, which calls for gin, honey syrup, and lemon juice. The poaching syrup (which does include honey as well as white sugar) was a fabulous stand-in for honey syrup, and I loved the resulting concoction, which I'll call a Wasp's Knees (a wasp is really just a spicier version of a bee, right?).

Mr Leaven and Little Leaven enjoying their Wasp's Knees 
To prepare a Bee's Knees, first make some honey syrup by simmering 2 parts water and 1 part honey till the honey is dissolved (if you want to make the Wasp's Knees without any fruit poaching, throw 2 pieces of star anise, 1 piece of cinnamon stick, 1/2 of a split vanilla bean, and a few pieces of orange and lemon peel in the syrup when hot and steep for 20-30 minutes). Combine 1 ounce each of gin, lemon juice, and honey syrup in a cocktail shaker, add crushed ice, and shake. Pour into a cocktail glass. Adjust to taste - if you prefer a sweeter drink add more honey syrup and if you prefer tarter (we Leavens like things tart) add more lemon juice.

For the poached apple recipe, pick up your own copy of Around My French Table or find the recipe at the end of this page from the NY Times online!


  1. I have been running pretty late myself lately...and I don't even have a little one vying for my attention:) Your poached fruit looks amazing but you really intrigued me with the drink recipes ....I am a gin fan and have not had a bees (or wasp:) knees. I am SO going to explore - thx for sharing !!!

  2. Nice cocktail recipe - sounds delicious! We really enjoyed these. I may have to make another batch to try Wasp's Knees, now.

  3. I think you have a perfectly good reason for any delays!
    The cocktail sounds good.


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