A hint of nuttiness
While waiting for its fruit to fully ripen, the leaves of the peach tree can be used to flavour foods. Eating peach leaves raw can be poisonous. However, if steeped in milk they create a subtle almond-like flavouring that is safe to eat. Healthy full-grown leaves are selected from an unsprayed tree. Dry leaves and those with any signs of disease or blight are avoided. To make: place 250ml milk in a saucepan with approximately 12 peach leaves. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat. Leave to infuse for no more than 30 minutes. Over-steeping results in a bitter solution. Regularly tasting the infusion as it steeps helps to gauge flavour development. Once the desired taste is achieved, the mixture is strained to remove the leaves. The flavoured milk can then be used to make custard.