Peach Melba

This dessert is summer on a plate. The colours are phenomenal, and the taste is great. Over the New Years period, my family and I ate this dessert three nights in a row after discovering it, in an attempt to use all the peaches from our little tree in the garden.

Serves: 8 people.
Cooking Time: Preparation 5 minutes, cook 15-20 minutes


For the peaches: 
+ 750 ml water
+ 700 g caster sugar
+ Juice of half a lemon
+ 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways (or equivalent paste)
+ 8 peaches

For the sauce:
+ 375 g frozen raspberries
+ 25 g icing sugar
+ Juice of half a lemon

To serve:
+ Vanilla ice cream


Put the water, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla pod into a wide saucepan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Bring the pan to the boil and let it bubble away for about 5 minutes, then turn the pan down to a fast simmer.

Cut the peaches in half, and, if the stones come out easily remove them, if not, then you can get them out later. Poach the peach halves in the sugar syrup for about 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on the ripeness of the fruit. Test the cut side with the sharp point of a knife to see if they are soft, and then remove to a plate with a slotted spoon.

When all the peaches are poached, let them cool (and remove any remaining stones). If you are making them a day in advance, let the poaching syrup cool and then pour into a dish with the peaches. Otherwise just bag up the syrup and freeze it for the next time you poach peaches.

To make the raspberry sauce, liquidize the raspberries, icing sugar and lemon juice in a blender or else a processor. Sieve to remove the pips and pour this fantastically hued puree into a jug.

Finally – to assemble the peach melba, allow two peach halves per person and sit them on each plate alongside a scoop or two of ice cream. If you have not managed to remove the seeds, do so before adding ice cream. Spoon the raspberry sauce over each one, and put the remaining sauce in a jug for people to add themselves at the table.

Original recipe sourced from the Nigella Lawson website.

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