Love peaches? So do we! Summer is peach season, and it's the perfect excuse to make this sensational easy peach Melba recipe. Made with sugared peaches, sweet raspberry sauce, and vanilla ice cream, peach Melba is a simple yet delightfully flavorful dessert that will leave you refreshed during the dog days of summer.
This beautiful French dessert dates back to the late 1800s when it was created and named for Australian soprano Nellie Melba. It has remained a popular dish in the years that followed, and today, January 13th is National Peach Melba Day in the USA. But you don't need to wait for January to roll around to enjoy this dessert – it tastes best in the summer with fresh, in-season peaches.
This classic French dessert was created by the legendary chef Auguste Escoffier at London's Savoy Hotel in the late 19th century. Escoffier concocted the dessert in honor of Nellie Melba, an Australian operatic soprano. Melba was in London performing in an opera, and Escoffier served the dessert at a dinner celebrating the opera singer.
The original version was made without the raspberry puree. A few years later, Escoffier added the raspberry puree and dubbed the dessert Peche Melba or peach Melba.
To add a little crunch to your peach Melba, garnish it with almond slivers, toasted hazelnuts, candied pecans, or crushed cookies.
To stop the peaches from oxidizing, you can put them in a bowl of water mixed with lemon juice. Let them soak for about 10 minutes, then pat them dry.
Use a spoon to get as much juice as possible out of the raspberries when straining the puree.
There are many wonderful variations on the peach Melba. Use apricots, pears, or strawberries instead of peaches, swap out the raspberry or strawberry sauce instead of puree, or melt some redcurrant jelly and pour it over the top.
A fully assembled peach Melba is best enjoyed immediately, but you can prepare the peaches up to 2 days in advance. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge until you're ready to assemble your peach Melba. The raspberry puree can be prepared up to 3 days in advance.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Fill a bowl with ice and cold water, and set aside.
Lower one peach into the boiling water and cook for 15 to 20 seconds. When boiling the peaches, cover the whole fruit with water. This will make it much easier to peel.
Take the peach out of the water with a slotted spoon and transfer it to the ice bath. Leave it in the ice water for several seconds, then put the peach on a plate. Repeat with the remaining five peaches.
Once all the peaches have been boiled, peel and discard the skins.
Slice the peaches in half. Remove and discard the pits.
Dust the peaches with sugar on every side. Arrange them on a plate and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Put the raspberries in a blender and blitz until smooth. Strain the raspberries with a sieve.
Sift powdered sugar into the raspberry puree. Whisk until smooth. Place in the fridge for 1 hour.
Place 2 scoops of ice cream into each bowl. Set two peaches on top of the ice cream.
Pour the raspberry puree evenly between the serving bowls. Serve immediately.