Pêche Melba

Pêche Melba

Peach Melba

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
Serves
4

This famous dessert was created by one of the world’s greatest chefs, Auguste Escoffier, to honour Dame Nellie Melba, after he had heard her sing in Lohengrin. Melba’s performance inspired a dessert of peaches on vanilla ice cream, served between the wings of an ice-carved swan and covered with spun sugar. Later the dish was given its distinctive flavour by dispensing with the swan and spun sugar and covering the peaches and ice cream with fresh raspberry purée. The purée became known as ‘sauce Melba’.

Today, pêche Melba is served in great restaurants all over the world, and remains as distinctive a dish as it was in Dame Melba’s time.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
110g sugar
500ml water
1 vanilla bean
4 fresh peaches, peeled
500g fresh or frozen raspberries
60g icing sugar, sifted
500ml French vanilla ice cream

Method

  1. Place sugar, water and vanilla bean in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Place peaches in syrup, cover and poach gently for 5–10 minutes or until just tender. Remove from syrup, drain and chill, covered.
  3. Rub raspberries through a nylon sieve or purée in a food processor or blender. Gradually add icing sugar until sauce thickens.
  4. Pile ice cream in a glass dish, cover top with peaches, whole or halved according to size, and spoon raspberry sauce over peaches.
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