Peach Melba with Raspberry Sauce is an old-fashioned dessert that really deserves a comeback! Every summer when peaches are in season, I look forward to serving this after enjoying a grilled dinner on the patio.
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Why is it called Peach Melba?
This dessert was created by renowned French chef Auguste Escoffier while he was chef of the Savoy in London. He named it in honor of Dame Nellie Melba, an Australian soprano famous in the late 19th and early 20th century. He came to know her when she frequented his restaurants while performing at Covent Garden in London. He also named Melba Toast after her!
I like to use yellow peaches because the color contrast with the vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce is so beautiful. However, I had received white ones in my produce box so I just went with those.
I also LOVE my soft skin vegetable peeler. Can you see the small serrated edges on it? It makes peeling peaches and tomatoes so easy and clean.
Poaching the peaches
This recipe uses a poaching method to barely cook the peaches, but to infuse them with lots of flavor. You make a simple syrup and add lemon peels and vanilla bean. It is SO delicious! Then you barely heat the mixture with the peaches in it, then remove it from the heat. The residual heat in the syrup will render the peaches just tender enough without being mushy.
The raspberry sauce is very simply raspberries, a little sugar, and a touch of lemon juice. You can use fresh raspberries or frozen.
To serve Peach Melba with Raspberry Sauce, spoon some of the sauce into a serving dish, then put a peach half and a scoop of ice cream on it. You can drizzle more sauce over the top if you wish, but I like it just like this ... with a sprig of mint, of course!
Other recipes you might enjoy:
Peach Melba with Raspberry Sauce
- 3 medium peaches halved, pitted, and peeled
- 6 scoops vanilla ice cream
- ½ cup toasted almonds optional
- Mint sprigs for garnish
For the poaching liquid:
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 peels from a lemon use a vegetable peeler and be sure not to get any of the pith
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Raspberry Sauce
- 2 cups raspberries
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ cup sugar
- Mix all of the ingredients for the poaching liquid in a pot large enough to hold the six peach halves in one layer. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Gently place the peach halves in the liquid and bring the liquid to a low simmer. Turn the heat off, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to come to room temperature.
- Puree the raspberries with lemon juice. Add sugar to taste. How much you use will depend on how sweet the raspberries are so be sure to taste.
- Spoon a small amount of raspberry sauce on the bottom of a serving dish. Place a peach half on top with the seed hole showing. Put a scoop of ice cream beside it. Drizzle more sauce if you wish, and garnish with toasted almonds and a sprig of mint.