Put the wine, sugar, lemon zest and 1⁄2 vanilla pod in a pan just big enough to fit the fruit snugly in one layer when you add it later. Add 200ml (7fl oz) of water and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce to a gentle simmer.
Cut a small cross in the base of each nectarine and carefully submerge them in the syrup. Poach for 15-20 minutes, until tender.
Remove the nectarines with a slotted spoon into a bowl. Leave to cool slightly, then carefully peel the fruit and return the skins to the pan (this will help give the syrup a lovely pink colour). Bring to a fast boil and cook for about 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced by a third. Pour the syrup over the nectarines and discard the skins. Set aside to cool.
For the vanilla cream, whisk the cream, icing sugar and vanilla to soft peaks. Serve with the nectarines and white wine syrup.
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