Summer Recipe: Peach Melba (Pêches Melba)
This week flew by quickly. It’s hard to believe that it’s now mid-July. The hope of having warm sunny day looks bleak. I can’t believe that when I go out, I still need to wear thin jacket at this time of the year. There was a thunderstorm 2 days ago. Probably the first time I have seen the brightest lightning in London. Well, the uninteresting weather news aside now. I may seem to be talking about weather all the time without realising it.
Plums, peaches, nectarines, apricot, cherries and berries are abundant during this time of the year. I love summer fruits and that’s what make this season sweet and beautiful! Peaches are commonly used in making desserts. Peach tart is one of the them. But, I want to have something simple but nice. At the same time, I was thinking of serving ice cream with this dessert. I particularly love eating ice cream during hot summer day. (Ok, it’s not hot where I live!)
So, instead of eating peaches raw, I thought poaching them would be a great idea! Pêches Melba (Peach Melba) came to my mind. Pêches Melba is a classic French dessert. It is usually served with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream. I did it without the raspberry sauce. And instead of sprinkle with some almonds, I substituted with some pistachios.
The poaching technique is called white poaching to keep the peaches firm. During the process, the ingredients are brought to barely a simmer and then the whole pan is removed from the heat. The hot mixture stays in the pan for a time, gently cooking in its own heat as it cools. The result is perfectly cooked, and never mushy.
My first ever experience in making Peach Melba is rewarding – I realise that simple technique like poaching can make such an impact and difference in eating peaches!
Peach Melba (Pêches Melba)
275g white sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise
4 scoops vanilla ice cream
1. Put the sugar, lemon zest, vanilla pod and water into a pot, bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the peaches. Cover with a piece of baking paper and place a plate on top, this will act as a weight and stop the peaches from rising to the surface. Gently simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the peaches and gently peel off the skin by running them under cold water. Set aside. Place about 240ml of poaching liquid, some extra sugar and the peach skins into a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes or until reduced by half.
3. To serve, place a peach and a scoop of ice cream. Drizzle with syrup and sprinkle with some chopped pistachios.