White Nectarines baked with Masala & vanilla


This is a pretty and stylish summer dessert that takes little time to prepare. It is best made the day before and left in the fridge overnight to allow the flavours to develop.  The sweet Marsala wine gives it a rich, fruity flavour & the vanilla brings out the flavour of the fruit. If you can’t get hold of the white nectarines then just use the ordinary ones. You could also use peaches. 

I dream of picking a warm nectarine or peach from my own tree but in the meantime (+ in the unlikely event of me moving to a warmer climate( I have to be content with supermarket or greengrocer ones. Bought stone fruit is often lacking in flavour or a bit under-ripe but the baking (or poaching) helps with this.

I like to serve these with crème fraiche, but you could use lightly whipped double cream.


Serves 6

6 firm white nectarines

2 tbsp. unrefined caster sugar

275ml Marsala wine

1 vanilla pod *

2 level teasp arrowroot or cornflour

To serve Crème Fraiche


  1. Cut the fruits in half to the stone and then gently twist to separate the halves. Remove the stone carefully without damaging the flesh. (If you prefer to remove the skins place in a bowl and pour over boiling water.  After about 5 minutes remove them and the skins should slip off easily. I left the skins on.
  2. Put the nectarines in a shallow baking dish. Mix together the sugar and wine and pour over the fruit. Add the vanilla pod.  Bake in a low oven (130C) for about 30 minutes.  Don’t overcook or they will collapse. 
  3. Remove the fruit and pour off the liquid into a small pan.
  4. Mix the arrowroot or cornflour with a little cold water and then whisk it into the liquid. Bring to a simmer until the juice is slightly thickened.
  5. Pour it back over the nectarines cover and put in the fridge overnight if possible.


*The vanilla pods are expensive but when used whole as in this dish they can be re-used.  Just wash off the juice and allow it to dry properly before storing it either in its original airtight container or wrapped up in foil.