Baked Doughnut Peaches

I kept seeing tweets about doughnut peaches and my curiosity was piqued. I had never seen or heard of such things and so the minute I was at Woolworths and saw them I popped them in my trolly, not knowing what their destinies were but knowing that somehow there would be an oven, my mouth and my tummy involved. 
Friday night rolled around since I planned a lightish dinner (red thai curry with brown and wild rice) so I decided dessert was in order. Poaching the peaches sounded like a great idea but I decided a little googling for more options couldn’t hurt. So off I went and found this recipe. Brilliant! That was what I would do. I knew we had Lemon Verbena in the garden (Interesting Fact: called Melissa in hebrew) and so all I needed was the cookies.
We only had plain butter cookies in the cupboard and no almond essence, so I crumbled them up, put in some vanilla essence and some Cap’ian Morgan and left them to dry as the peaches soaked in the syrup. 
The peaches baked beautifully and when you broke through the crumbed surface you found what can only be described as peachy custard, soft, creamy and just sweet enough to satisfy the sweet tooth without making holes in it

What you need:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 whole lemon verbena leaves or grated zest of 2 lemons
6 doughnut peaches
About ½ cup flour
1 large egg
1 packet Leibniz Butter Biscuits, crushed
½ tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp rum
Vanilla bean ice cream for serving

What to do:
Place the sugar, water, and lemon verbena leaves or lemon zest in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. When the sugar has dissolved, remove the mixture from the hat. Cool the syrup completely.
Skin the peaches. To loosen their skins and make peeling easier, Plunge the peaches into a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds and then into a bowl of ice water. Peel the skin. Carefully run a small paring knife around the stones, then poke the stones out, leaving a hole in the center.
Pour the syrup into a glass or ceramic dish (large pie plate will do) and place the peeled peaches in the cooled verbena syrup to macerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours, turning them occasionally. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Place the flour in a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk the egg to break it up. In a shallow dish, combine the biscuits with the vanilla and rum. Arrange the bowls of flour and egg and the dish of crumbs side by side. Remove a peach from the syrup and let it drain slightly, then dip it in the flour to lightly coat. Shake off the excess, then dip it in the egg to coat. Shake off any excess, then roll in the crumbs. Press the crumbs to pack them. Place the crumb-covered peach on the prepared baking sheet. Continue the dipping and crumb-coating process with the remaining peaches. Pack any leftover crumbs into the stone holes, dividing the crumbs between the peaches. The crumb-coated peaches can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours before baking.
When ready to bake, center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake the peaches for 15 minutes. Rotate the pan from front to back and continue to bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until golden on the outside and the peaches are tender when pierced with a tester. Remove from the oven and serve with vanilla ice cream.

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