Peach Melba

Escofier created this recipe for the Australian opera singer Dame Melba. The dessert is simply poached pears on vanilla ice-cream with a raspberry sauce. This recipe has altered many times but in its simplest form with quality ingredients this dessert is something special.

Preparation: 30 minutes (plus time to make the vanilla ice-cream)

Cooking: 15 minutes

Ingredients

Poached Peaches

  • 4 ripe peaches (stems trimmed and a small "x" cut in the base)
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 500ml water
  • 250ml rose or white wine
  • 200g caster sugar

Raspberry Coulis

  • 200g raspberries
  • 100ml poaching syrup

To Serve

  • vanilla ice-cream (see recipe)
  • 6 mint leaves

Method

  1. Poached Peaches: Place the water, white wine, sugar and vanilla pod in a medium saucepan, stir it until the sugar has dissolved. Slowly bring it to the boil then reduce it to a simmer for 10 minutes. Place the peaches in the syrup and cook them gently for 15 minutes until they are soft but still hold their form. Remove them from the liquid and allow them to cool slightly then peel them. Refrigerate the peaches with a little poaching liquid over them until ready to serve. Set aside 100ml of the poaching syrup for the raspberry sauce and place the rest in a well sealed container in the refrigerator for future use. The syrup will last a couple of weeks in the refrigerator or freeze it for 3 months.
  2. Raspberry Coulis: Puree the raspberries with the reserved poaching syrup. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and set aside until ready to use.
  3. To Serve: Place the poached peaches in the centre of each plate and place a mint leaf where the stem was. Place 1 or 2 scoops of vanilla ice-cream besides each peach. Drizzle over a little of the raspberry coulis and serve.