Today I’m sharing a favorite recipe of mine called Peche Melba (pronounced pesh), or Peach Melba. This is the season for juicy sweet peaches and plump red raspberries and I feel nostalgic with memories of old days back in my home town, Tabriz. If any of you grew up in Tabriz in the early 70s, the name Rex Ghanadi (confectionery) must ring a bell. The Rex confectionery is still a very famous bakery in Tabriz, but back then it was a very hip café with decadent pastries, dim lights and music as soft as the mood of the young people who met there. The place was famous for their café glace, a variety of ice cream sodas, and my favorite Peche Melba. They served their Peche Melba with a slice of Rollet and without the raspberry sauce, but I love raspberries and this sauce is so beautiful and flavorful that I thought it would add an elegant touch to this old favorite of mine!
This time of year you can find peaches in the supermarkets, farmers market, farm stands and depending on where you are maybe even on your own tree. You know they are ripe when you can smell their sweet fragrance from a mile away!
Lucky for the raspberry lovers, these wonderful juicy berries are available year round, but they are especially in season now, ripening on their dusty bushes as we speak. Pairing these two fruits makes the Peche Melba with its sweet and tart flavor in company of a mound of vanilla ice cream absolutely irresistible.
What makes this dessert so special is that both of these mouthwatering fruits are quickly prepared in minutes to create the homemade peach compote and a ruby red fresh raspberry sauce with a taste that is unbeatable.
Delicate peach compote is topped with vanilla ice cream then drizzled with glorious raspberry sauce. This could be a delicious dessert by itself,
but just like my favorite cafe in Tabriz I serve my Peche Melba with a slice of Rollet. You may find the recipe and illustrated tutorial for Rollet on this blog. The Rollet should be baked and filled a day in advance and then sliced with a sharp serrated knife on the day you want to serve this dessert.
Score the skins and cover the peaches with hot water. The skins will peel off easily. Divide the peaches in half with a knife and scoop out the pits. This is easier said than done with some types of peaches, so if the peaches do not separate easily just cut them in half all the way to the pit and proceed with the poaching process. Once the peaches are poached the halves will separate easily and you can take the pit out.
Bring the syrup to a slow boil and gently lower the peaches into the saucepan. Poach for about 5 minutes on either side until you can easily pierce them with a fork
Cool the peach compote in syrup in the refrigerator. Add raspberries and sugar to a small saucepan over low heat until the natural juices and the sugar form a syrup
break up the raspberries with a fork and slow boil until thickened. Press the raspberry sauce through a fine mesh strainer with a rubber spatula. Discard the seeds and chill the sauce for at least an hour.
To serve Peche Melba, place a slice of Rollet and a peach compote with the cut side up. Top the compote with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle some fresh raspberry sauce on top. If you like, add some fresh raspberries to each plate. I think you’re going to enjoy this dessert with all its textures and flavors. Yum! just couldn’t resist:)
Poached peaches - Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 10 minutes. Chill for 1-2 hours
Raspberry sauce - Cooking time: 16 minutes. Chill for 1 hour
- 1 recipe Rollet, bake and fill 24 hours in advance. (Please click on Rollet for the recipe) Slice the Rollet with a sharp serrated knife right before serving.
- FOR PEACH COMPOTE
- 6 ripe firm peaches (wash in cold water)
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or ¼ tsp pure vanilla powder
- FOR RASPBERRY SAUCE
- 1 ½ cups fresh raspberries (rinse under cold water)
- ¼ cup sugar
- Extra whole raspberries for garnish
- To Poach the Peaches for peach compote: Use the sharp point of a small knife to score the skin of washed peaches in half with a very shallow cut.
- Place the peaches in a bowl and add enough boiling hot water to cover them. Let this sit for 2 minutes; the skins will peel off easily with the point of the small knife, or just use your fingers.
- Place the peaches on a cutting board and cut them in half. Remove the pits. Set aside
- Add the sugar, water, lemon juice, and vanilla to a 3-Qt saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 5 minutes. Add the peaches in a single layer. Reduce the heat to medium low and poach the peaches for about 5 minutes, or until you can easily poke them with a fork. Use two forks to turn the peaches and poach the other side for another 5 minutes, or until you can poke them easily with a fork. Transfer the peaches to a heat proof shallow dish. Repeat this step for the rest of the peach halves. Pour the hot syrup over the poached peaches and allow to cool a bit in room temperature.
- Cool the peach compote with syrup in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours and up to 24 hours before serving.
- To Make the Raspberry Sauce: Add the fresh raspberries and sugar to a small saucepan, stir to coat.
- Heat over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir a few times so the natural juices and sugar form a syrup. Increase the heat to medium low and slow boil for 5-6 minutes, or until thickened.
- Remove the pan from heat and cool completely. Press the sauce through a mesh sieve set on a small bowl. Discard the seeds and chill the raspberry sauce for one hour or until ready to drizzle over Peche Melba.
- To serve, place a slice of Rollet and a peach compote on each plate. Top each compote with a scoop of ice cream and drizzle some raspberry sauce on top. Add some fresh raspberries to each plate.