From the SCCC Kitchen: Sliced peaches hit the grill for old-fashioned dessert

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
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Peach Melba is a sweet, old-fashioned dessert that can be made quickly.
Photographer: Marc Schultz
Peach Melba is a sweet, old-fashioned dessert that can be made quickly.

“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s culinary arts program. Today, educational aide Maggie Brousseau perks up her grill for peaches.

Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, sausage, steaks and shrimp have all been sizzling on grills this summer.

Maggie Brousseau is throwing something else on the barbie — sliced peaches.

“Peach Melba is peaches and raspberries together and ice cream to go with it,” Brousseau said, adding her peaches receive a brief sugar and lemon marinade before they hit the heat.

“Peach Melba is an old-fashioned dessert, but I think it’s a good favorite,” Brousseau said. “You make your raspberry sauce by cooking down your raspberries a little bit with a little sugar, a little lemon. Removing the seeds can be a little bit of a trick, but you can put them through a real fine mesh of some sort.”

There’s some history behind the dish. It was invented as “pêche Melba” during the late 1890s by French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel in London. Escoffier’s game plan was to honor Australian soprano Nellie Melba.

People who have never had the old-fashioned fruits and cream should know the taste has stood the culinary test of time. Like Nellie, they’ll be singing its praises.

“I think it’s got a little bit of tang from the raspberries and then the real juicy sweetness of the peach and then, of course, the ice cream kind of mellows it right out,” Brousseau said.

Another plus is the time factor. The chef said peaches, raspberries and ice cream come together quickly, “which is what you want for summer,” Brousseau said of the easy recipe. “I do.”

Peach Melba

3⁄4 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon

3⁄4 cup water

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided

4 medium peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut in half

8 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed

Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place 3⁄4 cup sugar, water and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice into a small saucepan and set over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the peaches; spooning the sauce over them. Set aside.

Place the raspberries, the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon sugar into the bowl of a food processor and purée. Place in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.

Place the peaches on a hot grill. Cook each side for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat to a container with the syrup and cover with aluminum foil for 5 minutes.

To serve, place the ice cream into 4 bowls and top each bowl with 2 peach halves. Drizzle each bowl with the raspberry sauce. Serve immediately.

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