When David was a bachelor, he was determined not to live on take-out and TV dinners, so he learned to cook. And he became and remains quite capable in la cocina. To celebrate his love of food and cooking, and maybe to impress some ladies, he would often throw dinner parties for his friends.
After he had dazzled his guests with classic chicken cacciatorre, pasta and a side salad or slowly braised, melt in your mouth beef stroganoff over noodles and a side of peas, he claims to have then wowed them even more with a very fancy peach melba for dessert.
They licked it up and told him how much they loved it. The simplicity of the dish and yet its overwhelming sensory overload makes it seem much greater than it is. Little did they know all he did was take a scoop of vanilla ice cream, top it with peaches and drizzle with jarred melba sauce. Yes, this was the 70’s and 80’s when peach melba was fancy, but, I have to agree, there’s something seriously comforting about peach melba. Even in 2018 and especially in 2018.
This dessert remains one of David’s greatest culinary weapons in the dessert world and it is so, so easy it’s almost laughable. Our modern spin on the time-honored peach melba features soft, luxurious (and even dairy-free) vanilla-flecked ice cream that slowly and slightly melts under a canopy of juicy and ripe, locally-grown, summer peaches (or from a peach tree in your backyard) to create a blend of delectable peaches and cream sauce that cradles the bottom of the bowl. Ladled on top is a punchy, sweet raspberry-forward melba sauce.
But, in 2018, the melba sauce needs to be homemade because who knows what is in the jar of syrupy stuff? When this simple dessert topping becomes your secret culinary weapon during peach season and requires only three ingredients–fresh raspberries, a touch of confectioner’s sugar to balance the flavors and a dousing of tart lemon juice for a splash of acidity and to thin it out a bit– and maybe three minutes to whirl together, why wouldn’t you want to make it at home?
This version is syrupy enough and puckery enough to make you seriously ponder how else to use this super easy melba sauce. I am thinking these are on top of the list.
In the heat of the summer, when you want nothing more than ice cream and the peaches are in full harvest mode, make this melba sauce for a classic dessert from the turn of the 20th century that doesn't feel dated at all. More than 100 years after its birth, I have never met anyone who refused peach melba for dessert. Use dairy-free ice cream and homegrown or organic peaches if possible for best results.
- 12 oz. raspberries organic, if possible
- 2 heaping tablespoons confectioner's sugar
- 1 lemon juiced
In a blender or food processor, add the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice and puree to combine.
Stop the machine and scrape down the sides and puree one more time for just a few seconds.
Pour the raspberry sauce in a glass jar or covered container.
When ready to serve, spoon liberally over vanilla ice cream and sliced peaches. Refrigerate any leftovers and use within a week to 10 days.
Many people call for straining the raspberry sauce through a sieve to remove the seeds. I appreciate and want added texture but found there were hardly any seeds in my melba sauce. So, you can strain it or not--your choice.