Pickled fruit is a truly underappreciated condiment. Finding the perfect balance of salty, sweet and sour can add a depth and dimension to a dish that is unbeatable. I experimented a while back with pickled blueberries but I think that I love these Chai pickled peaches even more. Using tea bags is a simple way to flavor your brine and creates endless flavor possibilities. Make sure to the best quality tea you can find for the best and most intense flavor. Use peaches that are still a bit firm so that they retain their shape and texture. I packed them into 3 pint sized containers but you could put them all into one large jar.
I paired these peaches with a nice creamy goat cheese, pistachios and arugula in a salad and as a crostini. I think they would also be great spooned over some vanilla ice cream, or on top of a pizza with some nice salty bacon. How about spooned over some nice grilled pork chops? They will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator so that gives you plenty of time to figure out the best way to use them.
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Chai pickled peaches
2 pounds slightly underripe peaches
1 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 star anise
3 cinnamon sticks
3 serrano chili peppers sliced in half
3 chai tea bags
Peel the peaches and slice into wedges, discarding the pits. Pack the peaches into glass jars along with the peppers, star anise, cinnamon and tea bags.
Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring the dissolve the sugar and salt. Pour the hot liquid over the peaches, cover and refrigerate.
Remove and discard the tea bags after 1 day. The peaches will be ready after 2 days and they will keep for up to 3 weeks.