These heirloom peaches have their origins in China and date from the 1800's - they are known as donut (doughnut), saturn, mountain, UFO or tobacco but here in Italy you'll find them labelled as pesca saturnia or tabacchiera.
I've enjoyed them on the rare occasions I've managed to find them in Australia so when I spotted them at the market on Saturday they immediately ended up in my basket.
They are a clingstone peach but that little inconvience is more than made up by their exceptionally sweet and juicy nature. They are a pleasure to eat just as they come but I thought I'd give mine a more adult feel and poach them in a grappa syrup.
The grappa I've used is this -
a Barolo grappa but you can certainly use which ever is your favourite.
12 saturn peaches
3 cups water
1 cup raw cane sugar
¼ cup grappa
Place the water and sugar into a large saucepan - put on a gentle heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for a couple of minutes then add the grappa, followed by the peaches. Let them poach very gently for about 5 to 10 minutes then remove from the heat and place a lid on the pot.
The peaches will finish cooking in the residual heat.
Store the cooled peaches and syrup in a sealable container in the fridge.