Peach Melba

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By Darren Purchese

One of the all-time classic desserts and something I learned to make at the very place it was invented. I was a chef at the Savoy Hotel in London in the 90’s and worked in the very same kitchen that this dish was first created. Chef Escoffier devised the Peach Melba to help soothe the vocal chords of Aussie soprano Dame Nellie Melba who resided at the hotel and performed in Covent Garden.

This version is a take on the classic and just one interpretation of this famous dish that I have made over the years.

Photography by Patricia Niven.

Time

3

hour

30

minutes

Degree of Difficulty

Easy

Save

1

Portions

4
Plates

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Ingredients

Servings

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COMPONENTS

 Raspberries In Sauce
 Vanilla Ice Cream
 Vanilla Panna Cotta
 Raspberry Sugar Shards

RASPBERRIES IN SAUCE

350g Raspberries
½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped
½ lemon, juice
20g icing sugar, sieved

VANILLA ICE CREAM

250 ml milk
200 ml cream, thickened
2 whole vanilla pod, seeds scraped
100g caster sugar
100g egg yolks, (approx. 5 large egg yolks)

VANILLA PANNA COTTA

175 ml cream, thickened
75 ml milk
4g gelatine leaves
30g caster sugar
½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped

RASPBERRY SUGAR SHARDS

200g caster sugar
75 ml water
1tbsp glucose
 q.s. freeze-dried raspberries
1

For the raspberries in sauce… place 150 g of the raspberries, the vanilla, lemon juice and icing sugar into a blender and blitz until smooth. Pass the mixture through a sieve onto the remaining raspberries and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to two days.

 

2

To make the custard… place the milk and the cream into a saucepan with the vanilla seeds and scraped pods. Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat, set aside. Remove the scraped pods. In a mixing bowl whisk the sugar and egg yolks together until they start to thicken and pale. Pour one third of the hot milk/cream onto the yolk/sugar mixture and mix well with a whisk. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk/cream and mix well with a spatula or wooden spoon. Place the pan back onto a low to medium heat and stir constantly while cooking the ice cream base to 82°C.

 

3

To cool… remove the custard from the heat and strain it through a sieve pour into a bowl. Set this bowl into a larger bowl of iced water to cool the custard down quickly. Stir regularly to achieve this. Once cool churn in an ice cream machine. Store the ice cream in the freezer until needed to serve.

 

4

For the panna cotta… Soak the gelatine leaves in iced cold water for a few minutes to soften, drain and discard the water and squeeze the excess from the soaked gelatine. Set the soaked gelatine aside. Place the milk, sugar and vanilla into a saucepan and gently heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the reserved gelatine. Add the cream to the pan, stir and pass through a sieve into a small, clean plastic container. Leave to set in the fridge for a minimum of two hours.

 

5

For the raspberry sugar shards… place the sugar and water into a small saucepan and start to heat. Stir with a spoon until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is boiling. Add the glucose and continue to cook without stirring until the caramel starts to turn to an amber colour. Remove from the heat and pour the caramel onto a flat baking tray or work surface lined with baking paper. While the caramel is hot lift the edges of the paper and hold it vertical to allow the sugar to gently spread itself thin. Work quickly and carefully to make the caramel as thin as possible. Sprinkle whole and crushed freeze-dried raspberry pieces onto the caramel whilst still warm. Leave to cool thoroughly before breaking into irregular shaped shards and storing in a sealed container until use.

 

6

To plate… cut the peach halves into smaller pieces and arrange them on the plate with the raspberries. Take a hot spoon and scoop two pieces of panna cotta from the container and place onto the plate. Serve with the ice cream and raspberry sugar shards.

 

 

1
0 hours 0 minutes

For the raspberries in sauce… place 150 g of the raspberries, the vanilla, lemon juice and icing sugar into a blender and blitz until smooth. Pass the mixture through a sieve onto the remaining raspberries and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to two days.

2
0 hours 0 minutes

To make the custard… place the milk and the cream into a saucepan with the vanilla seeds and scraped pods. Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat, set aside. Remove the scraped pods. In a mixing bowl whisk the sugar and egg yolks together until they start to thicken and pale. Pour one third of the hot milk/cream onto the yolk/sugar mixture and mix well with a whisk. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk/cream and mix well with a spatula or wooden spoon. Place the pan back onto a low to medium heat and stir constantly while cooking the ice cream base to 82°C.

3
0 hours 0 minutes

To cool… remove the custard from the heat and strain it through a sieve pour into a bowl. Set this bowl into a larger bowl of iced water to cool the custard down quickly. Stir regularly to achieve this. Once cool churn in an ice cream machine. Store the ice cream in the freezer until needed to serve.

4
0 hours 0 minutes

For the panna cotta… Soak the gelatine leaves in iced cold water for a few minutes to soften, drain and discard the water and squeeze the excess from the soaked gelatine. Set the soaked gelatine aside. Place the milk, sugar and vanilla into a saucepan and gently heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the reserved gelatine. Add the cream to the pan, stir and pass through a sieve into a small, clean plastic container. Leave to set in the fridge for a minimum of two hours.

5
0 hours 0 minutes

For the raspberry sugar shards… place the sugar and water into a small saucepan and start to heat. Stir with a spoon until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is boiling. Add the glucose and continue to cook without stirring until the caramel starts to turn to an amber colour. Remove from the heat and pour the caramel onto a flat baking tray or work surface lined with baking paper. While the caramel is hot lift the edges of the paper and hold it vertical to allow the sugar to gently spread itself thin. Work quickly and carefully to make the caramel as thin as possible. Sprinkle whole and crushed freeze-dried raspberry pieces onto the caramel whilst still warm. Leave to cool thoroughly before breaking into irregular shaped shards and storing in a sealed container until use.

6
0 hours 0 minutes

To plate… cut the peach halves into smaller pieces and arrange them on the plate with the raspberries. Take a hot spoon and scoop two pieces of panna cotta from the container and place onto the plate. Serve with the ice cream and raspberry sugar shards.

 

Recipe Tags peach, raspberry, vanilla