How to make Peach Melba and its History
January 13 is National Peach Melba Day
It is actually quite remarkable that a dessert as simple as Peach Melba could be given its own day. I for one am amazed that the dessert, named after the great foodie and world famous soprano Dame Nellie Melba, is even remembered over a century after it was invented by the French chef Auguste Escoffier.
That being said, I have on occasion succumbed to the simple charm of the Peach Melba and indulged my sweet tooth with this Australian 'delicacy'.
But surely there is more to this dessert than what I have been brought up to believe?
Let's find out!
Photo credit the Author and Wikimedia Creative Commons
It doesn't get any more simple than this!
- 1 tin of peaches
- 1 tub of vanilla ice cream
- 1 bottle of raspberry sauce
- Open the peach tin
- Remove 3 peach halves or several slices depending on which tin you bought and place in a bowl
- Scoop out two large vanilla ice cream balls and put on top of the peaches
- Pour the raspberry sauce over the ice cream and peaches
Teds Mums Version
So based on my recipe above, you can see why I wondered how on earth anyone even recalled, let alone celebrated this 'recipe'. So I spoke to my mum about it and she described how she made the Peach Melba I remembered as a child.
- 3 Medium sized ripe peaches
- 1 Punnet of Raspberries
- 1 Cup of sugar
- 1 Cup of water
- 1 Vanilla pod
- Place the water and sugar in a saucepan and mix until the sugar dissolves.
- Then add the seeds from the vanilla pod.
- Cut a small cross in the base of the peaches and place them in the mixture
- Bring the sugar syrup to the boil and cook the peaches for 5 minutes
- Remove the peaches and leave them and the liquid to cool
- Once cool, peel the peaches and remove the seed. Then cut into slices
- Place around a cup of the syrup back in the pan and add the raspberries
- Cook this mixture until the raspberries are warm. Do not let it boil
- Blend the mixture till it is of a liquid consistency. Push through a sieve to remove any pips or lumps
- Place the peach slices in a bowl and scoop on a generous amount of vanilla ice cream
- Pour the raspberry sauce over the peaches and ice cream
- Obviously my mum is both a more thorough and better cook than me!
Peaches and Inspiration
Peach Melba isn't the only thing you can make with peaches. There is a whole world out there for the peach fanatic. Grab this book and begin your peach loving journey.
Can't get peaches to satisfy your stone fruit craving? Then grab a copy of this book and be inspired to use all those other delicious stone fruits.
It all begins with the humble peach...
So who is Dame Nellie Melba?
Not always known as Nellie Melba, born Helen Porter Mitchell in 1861, she became famous across Europe and the USA for her stage presence and soprano voice. In the late 1880 as her career started to take off she changed her name to Nellie Melba, the Nellie being a lifelong nickname and Melba being a shortened version of her home city Melbourne.
Apart from being famous for becoming the first Australian to be recognised internationally as a classical singer, Nellie Melba is probably most famous in modern Australia for the foods that are named in her honour (Peach Melba, Melba Toast and Melba Garniture, a concoction of chicken, truffles and mushrooms stuffed in to a tomato) and her legendary comebacks towards the end of her career, where she spent most of the 1920's on 'retirement tours'.
So much so that the commonly used slang for someone who keeps coming back after they have left, such as returning to a room several times because you have forgotten to get what you came for, will be met with the response, 'Strewth mate, you've made more comebacks than Nellie Melba'.
More about Dame Nellie Melba
Peach Melba Day - A Real National Celebration!
Peach Melba Cupcakes
I love Peach Melba and I love cupcakes so what better combination could you possibly have? Thankfully someone has already thought of this match made in heaven. If you too want to see what paradise in a cupcake looks like then click on this Amazing Vegetarian Peach Melba Cupcake Recipe.
- Amazing Vegetarian Peach Melba Cupcake Recipe.
Cupcakes just waiting for you
Bread Machine Baking Month
This story was going to be about the more glamorous and recognised 'Bread Machine Baking Month', but as I was preparing the dough for my glorious fruit bread, the bread machine that I have had for over a decade decided enough was enough and through the vibrations of the bread mixing paddle, the bread machine edged knowingly to the edge of the bench it was sitting on and with one last long farewell look, jumped off the bench to self destruction.
RIP Bread Machine (affectionately named R2D2).
Looking for a new R2D2
I love this bread maker as it has an automatic fruit and nut dispenser.... and that is my all time favourite bread. I have gone to Bread Machine heaven.
National Celebration - A fight to the death!
Which National Celebration is more Important?
Peach Melba Puffs
Want to enjoy your Peach Melba with a cup of good coffee or as a bit of afternoon decadence? Then Peach Melba Puffs are the perfect solution. For a fantastic Peach Melba Puff recipe click here!
Deconstructed Peach Melba
Want to entertain your guests at you next Australian themed dinner party? Then serve them a deconstructed Peach Melba. How do you deconstruct this simplest of desserts? Well it does depend on how brave you and your guests are!
The simplest way would be to provide a serving platter with cooked peaches on, a tub of ice cream and a sauce boat full of raspberry sauce all under the grand title of 'Deconstructed Peach Melba'!
The bravest would be a fondue full of hot syrup, several ripe peaches, a punnet of fresh raspberries, a small blender and an ice cream maker with the ice cream ingredients all laid out on the table. Depending on the ice cream maker, 45 minutes later you will have the ultimate Deconstructed Peach Melba, which will either have your dinner guests amazed, or just questioning your sanity!
The Great Deconstruction Extravaganza
Peach Melba Squares
Want a simple way to serve Peach Melba? Then Peach Melba squares, courtesy of the chefs at the BBC are the perfect accompaniment to either a nice peach schnapps over ice or with your delicious home made ice-cream.
- For the BBC's yummy slice, just click here
You know you want to!
Peach Melba Margarita
I love playing with the classic margarita recipe and Peach Melba is just perfect for my mixology experimentations.
- 1 scoop vanilla ice-cream
- 1 double shot of tequila (50ml)
- cooked peach
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 10 fresh raspberries
- A couple of ice cubes (or more if you wish a slurpy like consistency)
- Pour ingredients in to a blender and spin away
- Pour into a cocktail glass with sugar on the edge
- All the ingredients can be modified to taste
- Can be made sweeter, fruitier or more or less alcoholic. Have tried them all and enjoyed them all!
Perfect Margarita Blender
The perfect margarita needs the perfect blender.
Funky, colourful and with a built in pourer. What more could you ask for in a margarita maker?
Delicious Peach Melba Muffins
And finally, no collection of Peach Melba recipes would be complete without my favourite morning tea accessory, the muffin. What better way to make the work day that little bit more bearable than with one of these delicious muffins from the examiner.com. Summed up in one word. Yum.
Making Peach Melba
I just can't resist Nigella...