RISE & SHINE KAUT43 OKC
Happy first week of summer! To kick summer off right, I thought I would dive into a classic summer dessert, with a twist, of course, the Peach Melba.
Now who is Melba and who shook her tree? If you understand the thinly veiled music reference to that last sentence *high Five*.
Created by the father of nineteenth-century cuisine and the man who literally wrote the book on how many modern chefs still cook today, Chef Auguste Escoffier, the Peach Melba came to life in 1892 honoring operatic soprano Dame Nellie Melba. Dame Nellie was performing Wagner’s Lohengrin, and the Duke of Orléans (Escoffier’s boss) threw a dinner party for her; Thus, bing-bang-boom Peach Melba.
Lightly poached peached, peeled and cooled. Served over vanilla ice cream, topped with a raspberry puree and toasted almonds, the Peach Melba has been served in some of the most exclusive hotels and restaurants, and your grandmother’s house for years. I wanted to do my twist on this classic, not only using peached but also fresh apricots that have been popping up in local stores recently.
Another twist in my twist is broiling the peaches instead of poaching. If turning on the oven or stove top is not something you’re interested in doing this summer, then go the next best route. Grill the peached and apricots! Adding a rosemary sugar on top to caramelize the fruit and give it the brûlee effect is even more dazzling. Play around with this idea and see how it works best for you. As for me and mine, this version was a hit!
Broiled Peach & Apricot Melba (Serves 2-6 depending on how you serve the fruit)
2-3 Ripe southern peaches
2-3 Ripe large apricots
12 ounces fresh raspberry
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large lemon, juiced
1/2 cup turbinado sugar/raw sugar (May use dark brown sugar )
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, stemmed
1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and adjust the top rack to the second level from the top. Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, add the raw sugar and stemmed fresh rosemary. Grind the two until both components combine into one giving you a sweet rosemary sugar.
In a medium-sized saucepot add your fresh raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Begin to heat on medium-high and cook the berries down into a simmering liquid, Around 20-25 minutes. Pour the cooked berry sauce through a fine mesh strainer over a bowl, and push the liquid through with a rubber spatula to remove the seeds. Pour the sauce back into the sauce pot and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely. Cover and place in the fridge to chill.
Run a knife around the center pit/stone of each fresh peach and apricot to cut them in half. Twist one half off the pit and set aside. Carefully and depending on the ripeness of each fruit pop out (or cut out) the center pit. Arrange the halved fruits in a dry baking dish or pan, cut side up. Cover each half with the rosemary sugar and place the pan in the oven on the adjusted top rack.
Roast the peaches for 8-10 minutes depending on size and ripeness. The idea is to gently cook the peaches but not so far that they turn to mush. A paring knife should be able to have a slight “give” when pierced into the thickest spot.
Set the oven to “Broil” leaving the peach and apricots in the oven. Broil the tops of the fruit (while keeping a good eye on them) to caramelize the rosemary sugar and natural juices produced from baking. Broil 1-2 minutes or until caramelized. Remove from the oven to cool.
Once the fruit os cool to the touch peel away the skin. Now if you do not mind the skin on your broiled fruit, then, by all means, skip this step.
To build your Melbas, add a scoop or two of the vanilla bean custard/ice cream to a chilled dish. Top with a halved broiled peach and apricot. Spoon the chilled raspberry sauce over and sprinkle the top with toasted almonds. Enjoy!