Peach Melba: Heaven in a Bowl
Is it just me, or does everyone think peach melba is heaven in a bowl? I don’t exactly remember where I first had this luscious dessert, but I think it might have been a small French restaurant called Le Cheval Blanc in midtown Manhattan in 1958. Peach melba, of course, was invented by Escoffier himself to honor Dame Nellie Melba, a popular Australian opera singer of the late 19th Century. If Escoffier had invented nothing else, he would rank among the great chefs of all time, because, done right, this dessert is incomparably delicious.
You will want only organic ingredients, because otherwise, the dessert will be fouled by additives, hormones, antibiotics, and god knows what else.
Get the best organic peaches you can find. Have on hand a pint of organic vanilla ice cream. Find a pint and a half of organic red raspberries. The recipe calls for red currant jelly. If you can find it in its organic glory, all the better.
Here’s the recipe. If you have never had peach melba, prepare yourself for a treat you will never forget.
First, make the melba sauce:
1 ½ pints organic ripe red raspberries
½ cup red currant jelly
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Puree the raspberries in a blender, then put the puree into a fine-mesh sieve above a bowl. Scrape back forth until the mashed pulp and juice is all collected in the bowl and the seeds remain in the sieve.
2. Place the pulp in a heavy saucepan with the jelly and bring to a simmer, then add the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
3. Simmer about 10 minutes until the surface is glassy and the foam has died down. Set aside and allow to cool, then chill in the fridge before using on the dessert.
Now, process the peaches:
2 ripe, organic peaches
½ cup sugar
Vanilla ice cream
1. Plunge the peaches into boiling water for a minute, then run under cold water to cool. Peel and cut into halves, removing the stones.
2. Poach the peach halves in a saucepan with the sugar and enough water to cover, just a few minutes. Remove peaches to a bowl and allow them to cool, then chill them in the fridge.
3. When you’re ready to serve the dessert, place two scoops of vanilla ice cream in two chilled bowls, then cover each scoop with a peach half, hollow side down. Drizzle half the melba sauce over the peaches and ice cream in each bowl. Serve immediately. Serves 2.
Yes, that’s right, President Obama has appointed Monsanto executive Michael Taylor—the man who brought the bovine growth hormone into our food supply—to be in charge of America’s food safety. The results have been immediately. The Senate Appropriations Committee has urged the FDA to finalize rules on the use of antibiotics in factory farming that poses a serious health threat. According to Food Democracy Now, “You’ll never guess on whose desk those urgent rules are gathering dust. That’s right, Michael Taylor.” Food Democracy Now is sponsoring a campaign to have the Obama administration give this Monsanto flack the heave-ho, and over 43,000 people have already done so. If you want to add your voice, visit: