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.

Poached Peaches and Apricots – The Recipe

Poached Peaches and Apricots in a Spiced Lemon & Thyme Syrup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
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.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keywords: apricots, lemon, peaches, thyme
Servings: 6 people
Author: Choclette @ Tin and Thyme
  • 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)
  1. Peel strips from the lemon, then juice it. 

  2. 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.

  3. Remove the fruit from the pan and continue to simmer uncovered for a further 10 minutes or until the liquid has halved.
  4. Strain the syrup and pour over the fruit. Leave to cool.
  5. Add the strawberries shortly before serving.
  6. Serve with labna or Greek yoghurt and chopped roasted pistachio nuts.


Simple and in Season LogoI’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.


#KitchenClearout badgeAs 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.



Poached Peaches & Apricots. PIN IT.

Poached Peaches & Apricots in a Spiced Lemon & Thyme Syrup



  1. Leave a Reply

    25th June 2017

    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 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      25th June 2017

      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.

  2. Leave a Reply

    25th June 2017

    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.

    • Leave a Reply

      25th June 2017

      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.

  3. Leave a Reply

    johanna @ green gourmet giraffe
    25th June 2017

    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

    • Leave a Reply

      25th June 2017

      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.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet
    26th June 2017

    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!

  5. Leave a Reply

    Cheryl Pasquier
    28th June 2017

    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 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      4th July 2017

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

    • Leave a Reply

      3rd July 2017

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

  6. Leave a Reply

    1st July 2017

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

    • Leave a Reply

      3rd July 2017

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

  7. Leave a Reply

    Katie Bryson
    1st July 2017

    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 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      4th July 2017

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

  8. Leave a Reply

    4th July 2017

    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!

    • Leave a Reply

      9th July 2017

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

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