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Peach Melba

August 23, 2010

 

One of the best ways to celebrate summer in my mind is with two wonderful summer fruits, peaches and raspberries.  But, I don’t see this dessert on many menus even during peach season except in Europe, so I started to make it for myself years ago.  It is truly a classic from French chef Auguste Escoffier when he first made it as a thank you for the Australian opera singer Nellie Melba.  The dessert was quite elaborate with a spun sugar swan which held the peaches, ice cream and raspberry sauce.  He later recreated a simpler version of it for the Savoy Hotel in London.  Do not let summer go by without making this delightful and fresh dessert at least once.

Peach Melba

Ingredients

  • 4 Fresh Peaches
  • 1 C. Dessert Wine or White Wine
  • 1 C. Water
  • 1 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Vanilla Bean (split and seeds scraped)
  • Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Preparation

Peaches

  1. Put the wine, water, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla into a saucepan and heat on low to dissolve the sugar
  2. Bring to a boil and let boil for about 5 minutes, turn the heat down to simmer
  3. Cut peaches in half and remove the stones (or poach first, then remove stones)
  4. Poach the peach halves in the syrup for about 2-3 minutes on each side
  5. Test with a sharp point of a knife to check if they are soft, remove to a plate with a slotted spoon to cool
  6. Peel off their skins and let cool

Raspberry Sauce

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. Fresh Raspberries
  • 1/8 C. Confectioners Sugar
  • 1-2 T. Lemon Juice

Preparation

  1. Put the raspberries, confectioners sugar and lemon in a blender and liquidize (or use an immersion blender)
  2. Strain the mixture through a sieve and refrigerate until ready to serve

(Makes about 1 1/2 C.)

Assembly of Dessert

  1. Place 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream in each bowl, plate or glass
  2. Top each serving with 1 peach half and drizzle the raspberry sauce over the peach and the ice cream

(Serves 8, 1/2 peach per serving)

Adapted from Nigella Lawson

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