Vanilla-bourbon pickled peaches

September 17, 2008
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Makes about 2 quarts

These are ready to eat after a couple of hours; they're even better after a few days.

10 firm-ripe peaches
2 cups orange juice
1 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Grated rind of 1/2 orange
1/2 cup bourbon

1. Fill a large saucepan with water and let it come to a boil. Set a bowl of ice water next to the stove. Have on hand 2 clean 1-quart mason jars.

2. With the tip of a paring knife, score an "x" at the bottom of each peach. Working in batches, use a slotted spoon to ease the peaches into the boiling water. Let them sit for 1 minute. Transfer them to the ice water. Use a paring knife to peel off the peach skins. Quarter the peaches, discard the pits, and place them in the jars.

3. In a large saucepan, combine the orange juice, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Use a paring knife to scrape the seeds from the inside of the vanilla bean; add the seeds and the bean to the liquid. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and add the allspice, red pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and orange rind. Simmer gently for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the bourbon.

4. Ladle the liquid over the peaches. Screw on the lids; refrigerate. - Adapted from Evoo

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