I love the timing actually. Just when we bid a very tearful adieu to our beloved Hapus, pretty peaches, plums, cherries and lychees make a grand entry and our world is wonderful again. After the classic awesomeness of Roald Dahl’s ‘James & Giant Peach‘ as a child, peaches have always been my favourite of the stone fruit clan.
I’ve always wanted to do a la Nigella, you know – sneak into the pantry at midnight and tuck into delicious dessert. I mean, how wonderful is that! So this weekend I whipped up a French classic dessert – Peach Melba. It’s a make ahead dessert that has ridiculously simple elements that you can refrigerate and tuck into on busy week nights. There is nothing better than coming home to a fabulous dessert after a busy work day.
Peach Melba is this classic French creation, that has vanilla poached peaches drizzled with raspberry sauce, served with a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream. Sigh!
Now, since raspberries are not available in Bombay, I used fresh cherries instead and the result was well, spectacular! 🙂
Peaches : 6 medium firm-ripe peaches
Water : 6 cups
Sugar :2 cups
Vanilla Bean :1
For the Cherry Sauce
Fresh deep red cherries : 250 gm
Castor Sugar : 1 cup
Fresh Lemon juice : 2tbsps
Use water for the desired sauce consistency
Put the water, sugar and the vanilla pod into a pot
Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer on a medium flame for around 10 minutes
Cut the peaches in half. Do not remove the stones, else the peaches might get really soft and might lose shape during the poaching process
Poach the peaches for around 6- 8 minutes, depending on the ripeness of the fruit
Test the cut side with a knife to check if they are soft
Once done, remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool
Once they are cool enough to handle, the skin will come off easily. Remove the stones
Place them in a wide bowl and drizzle some of the cooled poaching syrup on them and refrigerate
*You can freeze the peaches in a ziplock bag for use later
The Cherry Sauce
Whiz the fresh cherries, castor sugar and the lemon juice in a blender.
You could add water to get the desired consistency you need and whiz once more, till you get a nice smooth sauce.
Pass the sauce through a sieve to get rid of the pits.
Transfer in an airtight bottle and refrigerate.
*You could freeze this sauce and use it as a dessert topping. Stays fresh for around a month. **