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Peach Melba (Slideshow version)

Peach Melba : Photo of step #26

Stage 5/5 : 5 min.

Finish with Chantilly cream and serve immediately.

Remarks

There have been innumerable versions of peach Melba, and just as many strange uses of the term (who has not seen any-old-thing 'Melba', as soon as vanilla ice cream and whipped cream are involved). It's worth remembering that this is the original recipe.

It would be unusual to find the original recipe in most people's kitchens these days, so here's an extract from the master chef's own book 'Ma Cuisine':

Escoffier melba recipe

'Fill the dishes to three-quarters of their height with vanilla ice-cream; place half a tender-fleshed peach, poached in vanilla syrup, in the centre, the outside of the peach resting on the ice cream; place a stone made of praline marzipan in the hollow, giving the illusion of a real stone. Coat with raspberry purée with a little Chantilly cream added. Cover with a light veil of spun sugar.'

At the same time, I wonder if it's possible to taste the original dish anywhere now? Far from certain.

Even so, we can look out for the essential flavours (which chefs call 'markers') which should be present to get somewhere near the original: vanilla ice cream, poached peach, raspberry, praline marzipan and Chantilly cream.

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