Pêche Melba


This dessert was created in honour of Dame Nellie Melba, famous opera singer from Australia. Her stage name, Melba, came from her home town, Melbourne, Australia. The dessert at the time was presented like this: A vanilla ice cream swan with half poached peach (for the wings), raspberry coulis to symbolise the sea, surmounted by a good amount of whipped cream and toasted almonds – all that in a silver cup. Today you’re not likely to see any swans but we will keep the same ingredients to do your fresh and tasty Pêche Melba!

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 45 minutes

Prepare your peaches the day before assembling your dessert.


2 Peaches (fresh but firm – not fully ripe)
100g Sugar (for the syrup)
100g Water for the syrup)
1 Vanilla Pod (for the syrup)
100g Raspberries (for the coulis)
20g Sugar (for the coulis)
1/2 Lemon, juiced (for the coulis)
8 Scoops Vanilla Ice-cream (good quality)
200g Whipping Cream
50g Confectioner’s Sugar
5ml Vanilla Extract
50g Almonds, sliced and toasted


Peeling the peaches

1. Wash them well under cold water.

2. Boil some water (enough to cover your peaches), in a large pan.

3. Make a cross on the top part of the peach, just enough to cut the skin (we do the same for tomatoes when we want to peel them raw).

4. Plunge the peaches from 30 seconds to one minute in the boiling water then remove them and plunge them in cold water (the colder, the better – feel free to use ice cubes if needed).

5. Peel the peaches delicately without bruising the flesh. Cut them in half and remove the pit.

Poaching the Peaches

1. In a saucepan, add cold water, sugar and the opened vanilla pod and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add the halved peaches and cook for 10 minutes on low heat.

3. Cool down and reserve in the fridge in the syrup.

Raspberry sauce (coulis)

1. In a blender add all the ingredients for the raspberry coulis together and blend for a few seconds.

2. Use a strainer to remove the seeds.

3. Reserve in the fridge.

Toasted Almonds

1. In a hot oven (200ºC/400ºF), spread the sliced almonds and put them in the oven until they are golden brown. Keep in mind that the almonds will continue to brown even after you have removed them from the oven.

2. Let cool down on the kitchen counter, don’t cover them.

Before serving

1. Whip the cream until it starts to be firm, add the vanilla extract and the sugar, whip a little more. There is no need to be very thick.

2. Take the vanilla ice cream out of the freezer 10 minutes before serving.

3. In a glass cup (just because it looks prettier), add 2 generous scoops of ice cream.

4. Add half poached peach and a table spoon of syrup.

5. Add 2 tablespoons of raspberry sauce.

6. Top with whip cream and almonds.


This recipe was from Cook’n with Class Uzès.