8/13/16

Quick Peach Melba


As some of you know, I'm making international & healthy(ish) dishes for the Olympics! I wanted one from Australia, but I'm afraid I goofed a little on this one. While this dessert appears more in Australia than America, it's not a considered a national staple or a prime example of Australian cuisine. But I saw the fresh summer fruits with vanilla ice cream and I decided to make it. Australian? Eh, kind of... 

WARNING: History Bit
The Peach Melba, or Peches Melba, was created by the famous French Chef, Auguste Escoffier, in the late 1800s. He worked at the fabulous Savoy Hotel in London, and named his creation after an acclaimed Australian Opera singer, Nellie Melba (also responsible for Melba cakes). Recently, it has been used to celebrate the closure of the astounding Spanish restaurant elBulli. So while this might not be a dish from down under, its cultural footprint seems to span many continents.


Beloved the world over, this is a simple construction of sweetened peaches, raspberry puree, and vanilla ice cream. It is often topped with spun sugar or slivered almonds. My easy (and healthy!?) homemade version is much simpler than the elegant dishes served in restaurants and hotels. But I like it all the more for it. 


This is a recipe I adapted from Tori Avi, who does an amazing job breaking down the history of the Peches Melba. Check it out, if you're into that kinda thing.
Total Time: 4 hours
Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

For Peaches:
3 large ripe peaches
1/2 cup sugar
For Raspberry Puree:
1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed (not in juice)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons lemon juice
1 pint vanilla ice cream

Preparation

1. Boil 6 cups of water in a large pot until sugar dissolves. Place peaches in the boiling water for 1-3 minutes (although it only shows one here, you can place all three peaches into the pot at once).

2. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and immediately place in a bowl of ice water, allow to cool for 30 seconds.

3. Remove from the water and gently rub the peaches with you fingers to remove skins. 


4. With a large knife, halve and pit the peaches. 


5. Sprinkle the sugar over the peaches and allow to chill in the fridge for 3 hours. They can be covered or uncovered.

For the Raspberry Puree

6. Pulse the raspberries and sugar in a food processor or blender until crushed and liquid has released.
7. Strain through a mesh sieve to remove seeds. Stir in the lemon juice to taste. Save in the fridge for 3-5 days.
 


8. To assemble, place peaches over vanilla bean ice cream. (I used Halo Top, because it's low calories and delicious with fruit.) Drizzle on the raspberry puree to serve.


Happy baking!

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