jen yee pastry


Peach Melba My Way

Auguste Escoffier created the original "peche melba" in the 1890's to honor opera singer, Nellie Melba. He set peaches (I wonder if they were poached or just fresh) over vanilla ice cream, and doused the whole thing with raspberry sauce. Genius!! To this day, I don't think anything signifies summer on a dessert menu better than some form of peach melba.

At the restaurant, I just put up my own version of the dish. I blanch a boatload of peaches and remove the skins, but don't throw the skins away!! I then wedge the peaches off into a large bowl and throw the pits into the same bowl you're keeping the skins. I lightly poach the peach wedges by boiling a pot of syrup and pouring it over them. Allow them to cool on their own with a piece of plastic wrap over the surface.

A peach melba wouldn't be a peach melba without ice cream. Instead of the classic vanilla, and for the record I have nothing against classic vanilla, I use the reserved skins & pits to infuse the milk of my peach pit ice cream. Crack the pits open with a mallet to expose the little kernels within and throw it all into the pot. The pits of stone fruit, including apricots, plums, cherries, carry a lovely but subtle bitter almond flavor, and of course pair perfectly with their fleshy jackets. Let this milk infuse overnight to get the most flavor. The next day, finish the ice cream and churn. I garnish the dish with a blackberry sauce and almond nougatine for crunchy texture. Oh, and to make it even more decadent and squirt of very light vanilla chantilly from an iSi syphon.

**Did you know that peach and apricot kernals are "bio-identical" to almonds? Yes, so if you're allergic to nuts and/or almonds, you should stay away from nibbling on peach pits and/or this ice cream.