Peach Melba

Peach Melba

Peach Melba

A classic dessert invented in the late 1800’s by French chef, Auguste Escoffier, at the Savoy Hotel in London.  Chef Escoffier invented Peach Melba to honor the Australian soprano, Nellie Melba, who was performing in Wagner’s opera Lohengrin at Covent Garden.  Peach Melba combines the two favorite summer fruits peaches and raspberries (raspberry sauce) and is serves with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. 

INGREDIENTS

Poached Peaches:

3 Cups Water

½ Cup Sugar

Peel of 1 Lemon Removed In Strips

1 Vanilla Bean Split Lengthwise

½ Cup Plus 2 Tablespoons Peach Schnapps

4 Just Ripe (Not Overly Ripe) Peaches

Raspberry Sauce:

2 ½ Pints Fresh Raspberries

½ Cup Sugar

1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

Vanilla Ice Cream

Nuts Or Fresh Mint Leaves For Garnish (Optional)

For poaching the peaches combine the water, sugar, lemon peel and vanilla bean in a saucepan that is just large enough to hold the peaches with the liquid barely covering them.  Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.  Stir to dissolve the sugar.  Reduce the heat to low and add ½ cup of the peach schnapps and the peaches.  Cover the pan and cook at a very low simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the peaches are tender when pierced.  Remove the peaches from the poaching liquid and place them on a plate to cool.  The peaches can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Before serving, cut the peaches in half and remove the pit and carefully peel off the skin and throw away the peach skin.  Remove the lemon peels and vanilla bean from the poaching liquid.  Throw away the peel and vanilla bean.   Place the pan over high heat and reduce the liquid to about ¾ cup to concentrate the flavors.  Cool to room temperature and then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of peach schnapps.  Store the syrup, covered, in the refrigerator for up to one week.  For the raspberry sauce, rinse the berries and place them in a small saucepan with the sugar.  Place the pan over a medium heat and cook for 10 minutes until the berries are softened and begin to break apart.  Force the berry mixture through a fine mesh sieve and throw away the seeds.  Add the lemon juice to the sauce and refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days.  To assemble the Peach Melba dessert, place a scoop of ice cream in a bowl or large goblet.  Top with 2 poached peach halves or sliced peaches. Spoon some of the poaching syrup over the ice cream.  Next drizzle raspberry sauce over the peaches.  Garnish with either chopped nuts or mint leaves.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4

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