Peach Melba

By • May 28, 2013 4 Comments

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Author Notes: When I was small, my family frequented a restaurant that served peach melba for dessert. It was my absolute favorite: One slick orb of peach, at least two scoops of vanilla ice cream, and many running, garnet rivulets of raspberry coulis. I remember the tart brightness of the raspberry sauce, contrasted by the creamy sweetness of the ice cream, and how gorgeous the dessert looked when the ice cream melted into the raspberry. My own version can be made a day ahead, and thrown together at the last minute, for a family dinner or a summer dinner party. In a pinch, use (great) store bought ice cream and thinned out raspberry jam; however, I don't recommend using canned peaches. Cristina Sciarra

Serves 10

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 punnet blackberries
  • 1 punnet raspberries
  • 4 very ripe plums
  • -------------------------------------
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla-infused bourbon (you could also use regular bourbon), divided
  • a pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • -------------------------------------
  • 1.5 cups rosé wine
  • 1.5 tablespoons honey
  • 5 peaches
  1. Make the Blackberry-Raspberry-Plum Jam: Remove the skins from the plums.
  2. In a medium pot, combine the lemon juice with 1 cup of water, and the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Bring the liquid to a boil, and then lower the heat to medium low. Add the blackberries and the raspberries. Between your fingers, mush the plums into the pot. (You can discard the pits.)
  3. Cook everything together for about 20-25 minutes, or until all of the fruit has broken down and is soupy. Let the jam cool.
  4. After it’s cool, I like to portion the jam into zip-lock bags and throw it into the freezer, if I won't actually be serving 10 people. (It makes 2-3 cups worth of jam.) This way, I can preserve summer berries, and make a future weeknight dinner or brunch a lot easier. This jam goes very nicely on any manner of toast/scone/biscuit/English muffin, in yogurt, or over hot breakfast cereal.
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  6. Make the Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream: In a medium pot, combine the milk, the cream, 1/4 cup of sugar, the salt, the vanilla bean (split it open first, and scrape it), and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla bourbon. Heat the liquid over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it froths. Turn off the heat.
  7. In a separate small bowl, collect the egg yolks. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and whisk for about 2 minutes, or until the yolks look a lighter yellow.
  8. Take a tiny measure of the milk mixture, and whisk it into the egg yolks. Keep adding the milk, little by little, whisking without pause as you go. When you’re finished, add the combined liquid back to the pot.
  9. Turn the heat again to medium-low. Stir the custard almost constantly as it heats. You want it to coat the back of your spoon; after that, it’s done.
  10. Move the custard to an ice bath. If you give it the occasional stir, it should be good and cold in about 45 minutes-1 hour. (You can also move the custard to the fridge overnight.) When the custard is cold, I like to stir in another tablespoon of the vanilla bourbon.
  11. Pour the cold custard into an ice cream maker. Let it go for about 20-25 minutes, or until the ice cream reaches the consistency of soft-serve. Spoon the ice cream into a plastic container, leaving as little air between the ice cream and the lid as possible, and move it to the freezer for at least 2-4 hours.
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  13. Make the Rosé-Poached Peaches: Add the rosé and the honey to a medium pot, along with 2 cups of water. Stir everything together, and let it come to a soft boil. Meanwhile, cut cross marks into the bottom of the peaches. (This will make removing the skins much easier.)
  14. When the liquid reaches a soft boil, reduce the temperature to medium low. Add the peaches to the pot. Cooking time will depend on how ripe your peaches are: very ripe, and I would just cook them 1-2 minutes on each side. If your peaches are rock solid, they will take more like 6-8 minutes per side. You’ll know they’re done when the skin at the cross marks starts to turn up a little.
  15. Remove the pot from the heat. Let the peaches (and liquid) cool. If you have the time, let everything soak together overnight. If not, at least wait until the peaches come to room temperature, 2-4 hours.
  16. Before serving, gently peel the skins off. Cut each peach in half, and remove the pits.
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  18. Putting everything together: A Peach Melba is just a fruity sundae. Pick your favorite glass, and alternate: ice cream, raspberry sauce, peach. A reasonable portion would be 1/2 a peach, 1 scoop of ice cream, and 1/4 cup jam per person. You are not required to be reasonable.

More Great Recipes: Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts|Blackberries|Peaches|Plums

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