Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Peach Melba: Its History and a Recipe

Peach Melba is a classic dessert, invented in 1892 or 1893 by one of the worlds greatest French chefs, Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, London to honour the Australian soprano, Dame Nellie Melba (1861 - 1931), after he heard her sing in ‘Lohengrin’.

At first the desert was 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 puree. The puree became known as ‘Sauce Melba.”
Today, Peche Melba is served in restaurants all over the world.
It combines two fruits: peaches and raspberry sauce accompanying vanilla ice cream.

½ cup sugar
2 cups water
1 vanilla bean
4 fresh peaches (peeled)
500g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
½ cup icing sugar
2 cups vanilla ice cream

1. Place sugar, water and vanilla bean in a saucepan over medium heat, and stir until sugar dissolves, then bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Put peaches into in saucepan with syrup, cover and poach gently until tender, about 5 – 10 minutes.
3. Remove peaches from syrup, drain, then chill covered. Rub raspberries through a sieve or puree in a blender or food processor.
4. Add icing sugar gradually until sauce thickens.
5. Pile ice cream in a glass dish, and cover the top with peaches, halved, and spoon raspberry sauce over the peaches.

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