This recipe for Peches Melba (Melba Peaches) uses an often neglected and little known cooking technique called white poaching to keep the peaches firm. When white poaching, 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.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
- 6 ripe peaches, peeled and pitted
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups water
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 12-oz. package frozen unsweetened red raspberries, thawed in bowl
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- Vanilla ice cream
- Sundae cups or ice cream dishes chilled in the freezer
Using a deep, wide skillet, heat 1 ¼ cups sugar and 2 cups water to boiling. After sugar dissolves, add peaches in a single layer. Reduce heat to just under simmering and poach, covered, for 5 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, gently turn all the peaches over, cover, and continue poaching for 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and allow peaches to sit in hot syrup for an additional 4 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract. Chill peaches in syrup for at least one hour.
Push raspberries and juice from thawing, through a fine-mesh sieve, and then discard seeds and solids; set aside. Bring 1/3 cup sugar and ¼ cup water to a boil for 2 minutes and remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and zest. Stir simple syrup (sugar mixture) into seedless raspberry puree and chill for 30 minutes.
Layer peaches and raspberries over ice cream in frosted dishes and serve.
Makes 12 servings.