Sunday, August 10, 2014

Nigel Slater's Classic Peach Melba

Juice dripping...first down your chin, then onto your hands, and eventually all the way down your elbows.  That can only mean one's peach season!  To me, there is nothing better than a ripe, juicy peach!  It's one of my favorite things in the world.

Most times I eat my peaches hunched over the kitchen sink with peach juice dripping everywhere.  Messy as all get out but oh, so delicious!  Easily my favorite way to enjoy a peach! When I'm feeling a little more dignified I like to slice my peach and serve it in a bowl with raspberries on top.  Peaches and of those most heavenly combinations ever! So colorful and pretty.

Peach Melba has been on my to-make list for years and years.  Not sure why I haven't got around to making this sooner, but I'm so very glad I finally did!  Sweet and tender peaches poached in a light sugar syrup, with a bright red raspberry sauce, topped off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  It's a beautiful classic dessert that pleases your eye with it's vibrant colors and sweet and tart flavor. It will definitely leave you wanting more!

Classic Peach Melba
Adapted from The Guardian
by Nigel Slater
Makes 4 sundaes

The Recipe
Poach 4 small peaches in a syrup made from 400mls of water, sweetened with 2 tablespoons of caster sugar. When they are tender, skin them, halve them and remove their stones. Whizz 250g raspberries in a food processor together with a tablespoon or two of the poaching syrup, then push through a sieve to remove the seeds. Place a ball of ice cream and two peach halves in each dish, then spoon over the raspberry sauce. A white peach looks very elegant here.

The Trick
Peaches need to be poached in sugar syrup for a dessert such as Peach Melba, but too often they come out cloyingly sweet. Use only a small amount of sugar in the syrup and add both a little twist of orange and some lemon juice to brighten the flavour of the fruit. Peaches need to be poached with their skins on, then slipped off after cooking. Use your thumb. It's a sign that the fruit is ready when the skin starts to pucker and can be slipped off with ease. If it sticks, the fruit won't be soft enough yet. Although it's a drag, the raspberry purée needs to be pushed through a sieve. Even the most sabre-toothed of food processors won't turn those pesky seeds to crimson purée.

The Twist
A wafer is not obligatory. Most people tend to stick to the classic interpretation above, lest Dame Nellie Melba turns in her grave, but a modern version might include a blackcurrant – or more fashionable blueberry – sauce instead of raspberry. This involves cooking the raw fruit with a small amount of sugar, then blending to a purée. Unlike the classic raspberry version, the berries must be cooked first. The ingredients can also be made into an ice cream terrine, with layers of vanilla ice and peaches studded with raspberries, and served with a sauce made from the fruit.

Theme: Moreish Meals


  1. Such a bright and beautiful dessert and so perfect for the season especially with that scoop of ice cream. Definitely 'moreish'--I would have probably licked the bowl clean. ;-)

  2. Wow, that is one stunning dessert! Peaches, raspberries and ice cream, certainly makes one divine dessert!

  3. Peaches and raspberries, a great combination and no wonder that there is no left-over.

  4. Gorgeous! And one of my favourite desserts. I find both fresh peaches and raspberries moreish, but there's nothing better than when they're combined.

  5. We agree with you, peach season is the best. It's too short a season, don't you think. I have never had peach melba but this looks juicy and refreshing. Our time with Nigel is going so fast - can't believe it's almost September!

  6. I missed out this year on fresh peaches (sigh)…Your peach melba rocks.

    Hope you had a great summer.


  7. How delicious and beautiful it looks! I've never tried it either but it is such a classic, I must!

  8. To be honest, I'm pretty sure I never had any idea what exactly peach melba was up until now! But now that I know...I want.

  9. Peach Melba has long been one of our favorite desserts and now that we get these yummy Southern peaches here, it's even better! Such a wonderful summer treat!

  10. Oh, the joys of summer. I don't think there is anything better than on a hot summery day than coming in from the sun and standing over the sink with a juicy peach dripping down to your elbows.

    This dessert looks so utterly beautiful, Kim, and I'm so grateful for finding a little glimpse of summer right here. Actually Peach Melba is such an iconic dessert I don't know why I've never made it, but it's definitely going on my list for this coming summer :-)


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