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Poached Peaches and Apricots in a Spiced Lemon & Thyme Syrup

Poached Peaches & Apricots

Summer is here at last and not only does it bring light and warmth, it also brings us a wealth of juicy fruit. When you’ve had your fill of fresh berries and stone fruit, you’ll probably be looking for other ways to eat them. This recipe for poached peaches and apricots in a spiced lemon & thyme syrup is simple to make and utterly delectable.

Doughnut Peaches

I was initially planning on poaching apricots alone, but when I saw doughnut peaches at my local greengrocer I couldn’t resist buying some of those as well. These doughnut peaches, first grown in China in the 19th century, have taken the world by storm in recent years. Also known as Saturn peaches and flat peaches, they’ve won us over with their superior flavour, sweet flesh and dinky shape. I also ended up adding strawberries to the cooled fruit and syrup because I happened to have a few lying around, but these aren’t necessary.

Poached Peaches & Apricots

Middle Eastern Influence

When it comes to poached fruit, my mind immediately springs to the Middle East. Think Claudia Roden and her poached quinces or Yotam Ottolenghi’s saffron and cardamom pears. Diana Henry in her book Crazy Water Pickled Lemons has a marvellous recipe for poached prunes served with rosewater cream. But the fruit I indelibly associate with this cuisine is apricots. Every cook seems to have a different variation. Be they poached with honey, cinnamon, lemons, orange flower or rose water, they’re bound to be delicious.

I know apricots have an affinity with vanilla from making my popular apricot and vanilla jam, so I figured that peaches would work equally well. However, I wanted my poached peaches and apricots to have a Middle Eastern note, so I also added cardamom pods, lemon and thyme. The result was sublime. CT went into raptures every time he had a spoonful – which he frequently did.

Click on this link for more recipes in my Flavours in the Middle East series.

Poached Peaches & Apricots

Poached Peaches and Apricots

The poached peaches and apricots scented the house beautifully whilst cooking. When cooled, they had a heady fruity aroma softly scented with vanilla, cardamom, lemon and thyme. We ate them with Greek yoghurt and chopped roasted pistachios as an exquisite light summer dessert. They also turned our breakfast yoghurt and granola into a sun-kissed bowl fit for Shahrazad, having survived another of her thousand and one nights.

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Poached Peaches & Apricots. PIN IT.

Poached Peaches & Apricots in a Spiced Lemon & Thyme Syrup

Poached Peaches and Apricots – The Recipe

Poached Peaches & Apricots
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5 from 1 vote

Poached Peaches and Apricots in a Spiced Lemon & Thyme Syrup

A simple but delightful dessert. These poached fruits have a heady fruity aroma softly scented with vanilla, cardamom lemon and thyme. Serve with labna and chopped roasted pistachios for a Middle Eastern delight.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: apricots, lemons, peaches, thyme
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 143kcal


  • 6 apricots
  • 5 doughnut peaches
  • ½ vanilla pod
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 300 ml water
  • 100 g golden caster sugar
  • 200 g strawberries - hulled (optional)


  • Peel strips from the lemon, then juice it. 
  • Place all the ingredients, including the lemon strips and juice into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the fruit from the pan and continue to simmer uncovered for a further 10 minutes or until the liquid has halved.
  • Strain the syrup and pour over the fruit. Leave to cool.
  • Add the strawberries shortly before serving.
  • Serve with labna or Greek yoghurt and chopped roasted pistachio nuts.


Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on exact ingredients used.


Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 375mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 1105IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg


I’m sharing this recipe for poached peaches and apricots with Feeding Boys for Simple & In Season.

I’m also sending it to Food on Fridays at Carole’s Chatter where the theme is berries and currants this month.

As the strawberries would have disintegrated if I hadn’t used them in this dish pronto, I’m also sharing it with #KitchenClearout at Madhouse Family Reviews.


  1. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    24th June 2017 at 2:44 pm

    What a lovely dessert! Simple and seasonal treats are the best!

    • Choclette

      24th June 2017 at 3:34 pm

      Thanks Angie. It’s such a delight to get hold of summer fruit.

  2. munchies and munchkins

    24th June 2017 at 5:20 pm

    This sounds delightful. I am all about the syrups at the moment!

    • Choclette

      25th June 2017 at 10:53 am

      Sugar is a wonderful vehicle for carrying flavour.

  3. Nadia

    25th June 2017 at 1:04 am

    Sounds lovely! Such a yummy summer treat 🙂 I grew up in the Middle East but never tried poached fruit there. I guess it must depend on the country 🙂

    • Choclette

      25th June 2017 at 10:50 am

      I use the Middle East in it’s broadest sense, but I know it’s quite a big thing in Egyptian home cooking. It could be regionally specific within countries as well as country specific.

  4. Mary

    25th June 2017 at 2:05 am

    I started salivating just reading your description of these lovely fruits. Having them for breakfast with Yoghurt – the mind goes into raptures at the thought. What did the strawberries taste like in the mix? Unfortunately I will have to wait a few months before these lovely summer fruits arrive again. Thankyou for these lovely ideas! I can’t wait to try them.

    • Choclette

      25th June 2017 at 10:43 am

      Thank you Mary. We’ve only just come into the summer fruit season, so I completely understand the long wait. I added the strawberries just because I’d bought rather a lot of them and they were past their best. They were a nice addition and bulked it out a bit, but dish would have been just as good without.

  5. johanna @ green gourmet giraffe

    25th June 2017 at 8:06 am

    I love stewed fruit but am a bit unsure what is the difference with poached – I guess more liquid – this would be wonderful for dessert or breakfast – I am missing stone fruit now it is winter here

    • Choclette

      25th June 2017 at 10:39 am

      Good point Johanna. I think you are right regarding the liquid, but also poaching is a relatively brief activity where you expect a stew to take a long time.

  6. Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet

    26th June 2017 at 11:38 am

    I know for a fact that I haven’t eaten enough poached fruit in my life. I fondly remember soaking dried fruit as well, years and years ago. This looks delicious!

    • Choclette

      27th June 2017 at 10:44 am

      We only had dried fruit when I was young. That can be really good too.

  7. Carole from Carole's Chatter

    26th June 2017 at 11:59 pm

    Those are simply stunning. Lovely to see.

    • Choclette

      27th June 2017 at 10:43 am

      Thank you Carole. They were delicious to eat 🙂

      • Carole from Carole's Chatter

        4th July 2017 at 2:08 am

        I[‘m featuring these delights on my blog the day after tomorrow. Cheers

        • Choclette

          4th July 2017 at 8:37 am

          Oh lovely Carole, thank you. Please do remind me if I forget to visit. I’m away for a few days without internet access and will try to do it when I get back.

  8. Cheryl Pasquier

    28th June 2017 at 6:29 am

    Summer fruit is delicious but it goes off so quickly – this is a fab way of using up fruit that is on the turn. Love the exotic flavours in there. Thanks for linking up 🙂

    • Choclette

      4th July 2017 at 8:42 am

      Thanks Cheryl. Yes stone fruit seems to have a very small window of being perfectly ripe.

  9. Jacqueline Meldrum

    1st July 2017 at 11:44 am

    I bet they tasted amazing. I should really try this. I bet they would be good with ice cream or custard.

    • Choclette

      3rd July 2017 at 7:29 pm

      Yes indeed go for it Jac. Keep some in the fridge and you can have something different with it each night.

  10. Alison

    1st July 2017 at 4:05 pm

    What a lovely dessert, totally loving the lemon and thyme syrup idea.

    • Choclette

      3rd July 2017 at 7:34 pm

      Thanks Alison. Lemon and thyme works as a stuffing, why not as a syrup I thought 🙂

  11. Katie Bryson

    1st July 2017 at 4:35 pm

    THE perfect summer’s dessert – I adore poached fruit and love the sound of the spiced syrup you’ve come up with. Thanks for joining in with Simple and in Season 🙂

    • Choclette

      4th July 2017 at 8:30 am

      Thanks Katie. It makes a lovely dessert, but also a bit of a breakfast treat too.

  12. Fiona Maclean

    3rd July 2017 at 9:45 am

    This sounds so fragrant and delicious. The sort of dessert I love in the summer!

    • Choclette

      4th July 2017 at 8:22 am

      Thanks Fiona. Peaches and apricots are a real summer treat.

  13. kellie@foodtoglow

    4th July 2017 at 8:18 pm

    I can imagine how the aroma of these heady spices and herbs, as well as the sweet bouquet of the stone fruits, filled the house. Absolutely gorgeous!

    • Choclette

      9th July 2017 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks Kellie. Poaching stone fruit is not something I do much of and I think that’s a bit of a shame.

  14. Janice Pattie

    9th March 2020 at 12:38 pm

    ooh, peaches and apricots are just so good. I like the idea of the spicy syrup too, I can almost smell them, such a wonderful dessert.

    • Choclette

      11th March 2020 at 9:13 am

      I love the way a few spices can transform a dish.


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