Peach Melba with a Twist

Generally you would find a raspberry sauce served with this dish, along with canned peaches or peaches in syrup. Blackberries have a nice deep flavor which acts as a wonderful complement to the peaches bright flavors, and white peaches have lovely floral notes as well. The quick grilling of the peaches caramelizes some of the sugars and adds more complex flavors to an otherwise fairly simple dessert. Where the peaches and sauce are usually a garnish for ice cream, here the cold and silky ice cream is the garnish and foil to the tart and acid notes of the fruit.

INGREDIENTS:

4 white peaches, dipped in boiling water, then ice water, then peeled
1 cup Blackberry Coulis (see recipe)
2 cups best quality vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup roasted almonds, chopped coarsely
Grapeseed, or other flavor neutral oil, as needed

METHOD:

Halve the peaches and remove the stones. Rub the cut surfaces with oil or lightly spray the cut sides with oil.

Heat a grill and make sure the grate is spotless and hot. Place the peaches, cut side down, on the grill just long enough to mark them and caramelize them a little. Turn and cook the other side. The peaches should be a little softer. Immediately remove to a cutting board. Cut each half into thirds.

Scoop a half cup of ice cream into a quenelle or a ball and place at the 6 o’clock position of a plate or wide bowl. Do this for each of the four plates. Place 6 slices of peach in a fan above the ice cream, then use a squeeze bottle to drizzle coulis over the fruit and ice cream. Scatter with nuts and serve.

Alternatively, scoop a quarter of the ice cream into a bowl, drape with 6 slices of peach, drizzle with sauce and hit with the nuts and serve.

Chef’s Notes:

  • White peaches tend to be juicier and can be a little more fragile, so work gently. However, these qualities negate any reason to poach the peach in syrup first. Look for freestone peaches to make life simpler. Yellow peaches will work fine, just find nice ripe ones.
  • It is imperative the grill be clean and hot before setting the peaches on or they will stick and break down on the grill.
  • If you do this for a crowd, get someone to help scoop ice cream, chill the serving containers first, and/or scoop the ice cream earlier and place on a dish in the freezer beforehand.

YIELD: Serves 4

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