Slow-roasted peaches with orange caramel sauce

Slow-roasted peaches with orange caramel sauce

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Desserts
Serves
6

This is my version of the classic dish peach Melba which was created in the 1890s by the first true super-chef, Auguste Escoffier at London’s Savoy Hotel. After hearing Nellie Melba, the Australian opera singer, perform at Covent Garden, he was inspired to create a dessert. The story is that she loved ice cream but it affected her voice. Escoffier produced a dessert with raspberries, sugar, ice cream and peaches, which he named peach Melba in her honour.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g caster sugar
250ml fresh orange juice
1 vanilla pod
100g pistachio nuts, shelled
75g whole almonds
6 medium white peaches
50g unsalted butter, softened until runny but not melted
150g fresh raspberries
Vanilla ice cream, using almond variation, for serving

Method

  1. Put 150g of the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan with 3 tbsp water and dissolve over a low heat. When the sugar syrup is completely clear, increase the heat and cook for about 5 minutes to a light caramel.
  2. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the orange juice (it will splutter). Slit open the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add these to the caramel sauce. Set aside to cool until thickened, then stir in the pistachio nuts and whole almonds.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC.
  4. Using a blowtorch, blacken the peach skins, then use a clean cloth to wipe the skins away.
  5. Brush the peaches liberally with the butter using a pastry brush. Sprinkle them with the remaining sugar, making sure they are thoroughly coated (you can also place the sugar on a plate and roll the peaches in it).
  6. Place the peaches in a small roasting tin and spoon the caramel over them. Roast, uncovered, in the oven for about 30 minutes until the peaches are softened but still whole, basting them with the pan juices every 10 minutes or so. Add the raspberries to the roasting tin for the final 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven, cover the tin loosely with foil and leave to cool – this encourages juices to gather in the bottom of the tin.
  8. Serve the peaches with the orange caramel sauce spooned over and the almond ice cream on the side.
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