Today is the last day of summer so it seems appropriate to have my absolute favourite summer dessert, Peach Melba. Last week I poached pears for the Poires Belle-Hélène and I reserved the poaching sugar syrup and stored in a zip-lock bag in the freezer. So today I tipped it into a deep pan and let it slowly defrost over a low heat and then popped in the very ripe, halved peaches and left them to poach.
Then it is just a matter of whizzing up some raspberries with a little lemon juice and sugar. Then plating up the peeled peaches with vanilla ice cream and drizzling over the raspberry puree. When the fruit is so fresh and ripe you don’t need to do much to make the best summer dessert.
The raspberry sauce is a really simple standby for dessert. If you have frozen raspberries in the freezer then pull them out and let them defrost in the fridge. If time is short then pop them in a saucepan and let them simmer over a low heat stirring until the berries break down – just a minute or two. Then tip the berries in a blender with a little sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle this over ice cream anytime of year. My girls think this is the perfect raspberry ripple ice cream treat.
4-6 ripe peaches
2 cups sugar
4 cups water
1 lemon, juiced
vanilla pod, halved lengthwise
2 cups raspberries
2 tablespoons caster sugar
juice of half a lemon
vanilla ice cream
In a large pot stir together the sugar and water over a low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer then add the lemon juice and vanilla bean.
Half the peaches and pop into the simmering sugar syrup. Leave to poach a few minutes on each side until the peaches are soft. If still not ready just keep turning the peaches over every couple of minutes until ready. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate. Peel off the skin and leave to cool then keep in the fridge. If not using for awhile then keep the peaches in the cooled sugar syrup.
In a blender place the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice. Whizz up and taste it. Add more sugar if need be and whizz again. Push through a sieve to remove all the seeds.
Serve the poached peach halves with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and a generous drizzle of raspberry sauce. James Henry Trotter, this recipe is for you.