Thursday, August 25, 2016

Peach & Raspberry Melba

Pêche Melba, one of the best known French deserts, was created in 1892 by the very talanted  Provençal chef August Escoffier in honor of Dame Nellie Melba, an Australian opera diva. This is not your regular melba where you throw in a bunch of fruit and ice-cream together. The raspberry sauce is prepared and the peaches are poached in water, sugar, vanilla bean and lemon zest. You get the idea. Enjoy! 


6 cups water

2 cups sugar

1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise

thinly peeled zest of about 2/3 of a lemon

6 just ripe peaches, washed and halved

4 cups good quality vanilla ice cream (I use vanilla bean)

flaked almonds, toasted

powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Raspberry Sauce:

10 oz raspberries, fresh or frozen

juice of 1 lemon

juice of 1 orange

3 Tbsp superfine sugar


Combine water, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest in a saucepan large enough to hold the peaches. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

Poke peaches with a tooth pick. Gently drop the peaches into the syrup. Bring to a slow simmer and poach the peaches for 10 minutes until just tender.  Transfer the peaches and syrup to a bowl and leave to cool. Once cold, refrigerate until 10 minutes before serving.

To make the raspberry sauce, blend all the ingredients to a puree. Strain through a fine sieve and refrigerate until ready to use.

When ready to serve, lift the peaches out of the syrup and peel them carefully. You may cut them in half if you prefer. Place a scoop or two in a melba glass. Gently place a few peaches on top and spoon the raspberry sauce over. Sprinkle with toasted almonds, dust with sugar and serve right away. Alternatively serve the melba in a giant serving dish.

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