Pêche Melba

  • A Polish lady that I had not seen for many years came to visit me.
  • We sat in the garden chatting over coffee and cake.
  • She mentioned a cake she had not had for ages  – Tort Melba.
  • She told me it was based around  Pêche Melba – Peach Melba 
  • However she could not remember the recipe.
  • I said I would look the recipe up and make it for her.
  • I have done and tried several different versions, which will be posted soon.
  • *
  • First here is a little history about Peach Melba.
  • *
  • Dame Nellie Melba (1861–1931) – born Helen Porter Mitchell – was an Australian operatic soprano.
  • She became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian era and the early 20th century.
  • She took the pseudonym “Melba” from Melbourne, her home town.
  • In 1892 Nellie Melba was performing in Wagner’s opera Lohengrin at Covent Gardens.
  • The Duke of Orléans gave a dinner party at the Savoy Hotel in London to celebrate her triumph.
  • For the occasion, Escoffier created a new dessert Pêche Melba – Peach Melba.
  • He used an ice sculpture of a swan, which carried peaches resting on a bed of vanilla ice cream and these were topped with spun sugar.
  • In 1900, he created a new version of the dessert at the opening of the Carlton Hotel where he was head chef.
  • The ice swan was not used and the ice cream and peaches were now topped with a purée of sugared raspberries.
  • *
  • Below is an easy recipe for Peach Melba using tinned peaches.

Ingredients

  • Tinned peach halves – 2 per serving
  • Vanilla ice cream – 2 scoops per serving
  • Raspberry sauce – made from raspberry jam
  • Lemon juice – optional

Method

  • An easy raspberry sauce can be made from good (home-made) raspberry jam.
  • Put around 4 to 5 tablespoons of raspberry jam and 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan.
  • Heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon, until you have a pouring sauce.
  • If your jam is very sweet and a little lemon juice.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Allow two peach halves per serving and arrange these on a flat plate.
  • Add two scoops of vanilla ice cream next to the peaches.
  • Pour some raspberry sauce over the ice cream and peaches.
  • Serve any remaining sauce in a little jug.

Twaróg Dessert

  • This dessert is one I make when I do not wish or have time to to make a layered torcik
  • The jelly and twaróg mixture is left to set in a bowl and scoops are then put into individual serving dishes.
  • The more twaróg you use the softer will be the mixture.
  • As I do not really like to drink milk using twaróg ensures I get calcium in my diet.
  • The flavours and fruits used here are just an example – use the flavours of jellies that you like as well as the fruit.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of lemon jelly
  • 250 – 400g of twaróg , yoghurt cheese or cream cheese
  • Juice and rind of 1 lemon
  • *
  • Toppings
  • Bottled blackcurrants – drained
  • Grated chocolate or chocolate flake

Method

  • Make up 500ml of jelly as per the packet instructions.
  • Add the lemon juice and rind.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Whisk in the twaróg and mix till all  is blended in.
  • Pour into a large bowl.
  • Leave to set in the fridge.
  • Put scoops into individual glasses.
  • Add the toppings.