Peach Melba for Oprah

Peach Melba for Oprah

By
From
PS Desserts
Serves
6
Photographer
Mark Roper

I was very excited to be invited to create a dessert for Oprah when she visited our shores in November 2010. My inspiration was, naturally, Melbourne and I instantly thought of combining our beloved Peach Melba with macarons for their O-shape — my nod to Oprah’s name. I love the pairing of peach and citrusy lemon verbena ice-cream, but if you have trouble finding the leaf, classic vanilla ice-cream is equally as good.

Macarons step 1

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
225g pure icing sugar, sifted
225g almond meal
85g fresh eggwhite

Method

  1. For the macarons

    Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Line a large heavy-based baking tray with a silicone baking mat or baking paper.
  2. Pulverise the icing sugar and almond meal in a food processor until very fine. Rub this mixture through a sieve. It is important that it is very fine and aerated, so if it’s not fine enough, you may need to reblitz it after sieving. Whisk the fresh eggwhite briefly until foamy.

Macarons step 2 - Italian meringue

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
225g caster sugar
55ml water
85g dried eggwhite, (see note)

Method

  1. Meanwhile, put the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat and stir with your fingers until dissolved a little, then brush any crystals down from the side of the pan using a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Bring to the boil over medium heat and allow to bubble away undisturbed, without stirring or shaking the pan, until the syrup reaches 118ºC.
  2. Place the dried eggwhite in the bowl of an electric mixer and begin whisking on high speed.
  3. When the sugar syrup reaches 121ºC, remove the syrup from the heat and allow the bubbles to die down. At this stage the eggwhite should be holding soft peaks. Reduce the speed and carefully pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl. Once all the syrup has been added, increase the speed and whisk until shiny and holding firm peaks.

Step 3 - combining

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

Poached peaches

Quantity Ingredient
Poaching, 6 poached peach halves
250ml peach poaching syrup, (see the instructions for the poached peaches)

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
450g fresh strawberries
Lemon verbena Ice-cream, recently churned
edible gold leaf, (see note)

Method

  1. In a large bowl, make a paste with the almond meal mixture and whisked eggwhite from step 1. Fold in one-third of the Italian meringue from step 2, then fold in the remaining meringue. Loosen the thick mixture by “beating down”— give it several firm whacks with a wooden spoon to knock out some of the air. The mixture should be sticky and flow off the spoon.
  2. Put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5 cm-plain nozzle. Pipe 8 cm-diameter circles onto the baking mat or prepared tray. You will need 12, but pipe more so you have spares. Leave the macarons in a warm dry place for up to 1 hour, depending on the temperature, to form a “leathery” skin which ensures a good “foot” or base.
  3. Place in the oven and immediately turn off the heat. Leave for 5 minutes, then turn the oven to 100ºC and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the tray before gently removing.
  4. For the poached peaches

    If refrigerated, drain the poached peaches on paper towel and bring to room temperature.
  5. Place the peach poaching syrup in a wide-based saucepan over medium heat and cook until reduced by half to form a glaze.
  6. To serve

    Using the tip of a small knife, very carefully remove the domed tops off six of the macarons and discard (or eat) the tops (you should have some spare just in case you break any).
  7. Place the peach halves on top of the hollowed-out macarons. Place a macaron onto each serving plate and arrange the raspberries around the circumference. Pipe or spoon the ice-cream into the cavity, then top with the peach macaron. Lightly brush the peach with the glaze, decorate with a little gold leaf and serve immediately.

Note

  • Leave the eggwhite for the second mixture at room temperature for several days to “dry out”. This will ensure good inflation of the meringue.

Note

  • Edible gold leaf, usually 22 or 24 carat, is available in gossamer-thin sheets from specialty baking stores or online. Use tweezers or fingers to handle the sheets.
Tags:
PS
Desserts
Philippa
Phillipa
Sibley
sweet
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