Valentine Warner is a cook, writer and broadcaster, you may well have seen him on the telly (What to Eat Now, The Great British Food Revival, Ration Book Britain, Valentine Warner Eats Scandinavia). Valentine has been dubbed the Russell Brand of the kitchen by his BBC bossed, a fact I gathered from Wikipedia, and another interesting fact is that he used to be a portrait painter before turning his hand to cooking. You can follow Valentine on Twitter here and a huge thank you to Valentine for donating a preserves recipe to Accumul8!

Pickled Peaches from Valentine Warner

Valentine says “These go very well with slices of cold ham or one of those very strong cheddars that ravage the roof of the mouth. This recipe featured in my book What To Eat Now: Spring & Summer (Mitchell Beazley).” 

Makes 2 500ml jars.


6 firm, ripe peaches

2 small banana shallots

2 long red chillies

600g caster sugar

500ml good-quality red wine vinegar

3 dried bay leaves

10 black peppercorns

2 teaspoons black mustard seeds

2 teaspoons coriander seeds


To sterilise the jars, heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.Wash two good-quality preserving jars and lids really well (remove and wash the rubber seals separately). Put the jars on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the peaches in half and remove the stones. Put the peach halves in a large saucepan and just cover with water. Bring to a boil, then take off the heat and drain in a colander. Rinse under cold running water, then peel the peach halves – if they are properly ripe, the skin should slip off between your fingers; for more stubborn skin, you may have to resort to a vegetable peeler, but be gentle with them, because the flesh damage easily. Remove and discard any stones that you weren’t able to hoick out first time round.

Cut the shallots in half, then peel and slice thinly and neatly. Thinly slice the chillies without removing the seeds. Put the shallots and chillies in a large saucepan and add the sugar, vinegar, bay leaves, peppercorns and mustard and coriander seeds. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves.

Add the peaches to the pan and increase the heat. Simmer for three minutes, turning the fruit once or twice so it cooks evenly, then take the pan off the heat and strain through a large sieve, collecting the vinegar syrup in a wide bowl. Tip the fruit and onion mix into another bowl. Scrape the syrup back into the pan and bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid has reduced to about 400ml and looks thicken and glossy – it should have the texture of maple syrup. Pour over the peaches.

Leave to cool a little, then with a slotted spoon, transfer the solids into the still-warm sterilised jars, ensuring that the peaches, shallots, chillies and spices are evenly distributed. Pour the syrup into the jars so that the peaches are fully covered and the jars almost completely full. Leave to cool for 30 minutes (topping up with more syrup if necessary), then seal and leave to sit in a cool, dark place for at least four weeks before serving.

Val 2013 copyright Clare Richardson smallValentine Warner, Photo copyright of Claire Richardson

Recipe reproduced with kind permission of Valentine Warner.

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