Lightly spiced PĂȘche Melba
French have a tradition of dressing ice cream as if it were haute-couture, with names oozing old fashioned chic such as Chocolat LiĂ©geois, Dame Blanche or PĂȘche Melba. I updated this classic by cooking the peaches in a vanilla and spice syrup. The result is a wonderful mĂ©lange where the peach, wrapped in silky crĂšme Chantilly and soft ice cream, leaves in the mouth a whispering trail of sunny spices for a most intense plaisir.

Lightly spiced PĂȘche Melba

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Recipe by: Anne-Laure at Tasty Diaries
Busy:15 min, Total prep time: 20 min
Serves: 6 
Bring about 1L of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Dip the peaches for 2 minutes in the simmering water to loosen their skin. Take them out of the water, peel them, cut them in half and remove their pit.

Bring another litre of water to the boil with the sugar, vanilla extract (or a vanilla bean slit lengthwise, grains scraped off into the water), star anise and mixed spice. Don't be tempted to re-use the water in which you parboiled the peaches as it will have been contaminated with pesticides.

Plunge the peeled peach halves into the lightly bubbling syrup and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and leave to cool.

While the peaches are cooking, save the 12 best looking raspberries for garnish. mash the remaining raspberries with the back of a fork with the icing sugar and a squirt of lemon juice.

Using an electric mixer, whip the cream into a silky crùme Chantilly. The top tips for achieving the perfect Chantilly are: 1. make sure the cream, bowl and whisk are all very cold. I place the whisk and cream in the freezer 20 min beforehand. 2. beat the cream at low speed first, moving in stages to high speed, and wait until the cream starts bubbling before adding the sugar (slowly) and vanilla extract. 3. stop once the whisk leaves well defined marks in the cream. Dip a spoon in it and turn it upside down. If the cream peak on the spoon stays up, it is ready. If not, give it another whisking. The Chantilly should only take 2-3 minutes to make. Don’t overbeat otherwise you will reach the consistency of butter.

Just before serving:

Pour some raspberry coulis in martini or wide glasses, place a good sized ice cream scoop on top and a peach half. Top with the Chantilly and a few fresh raspberries. Serve right away.

Bring about 1L of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Dip the peaches for 2 minutes in the simmering water to loosen their skin. Take them out of the water, peel them, cut them in half and remove their pit.

Bring another litre of water to the boil with the sugar, vanilla extract (or a vanilla bean slit lengthwise, grains scraped off into the water), star anise and mixed spice. Don’t be tempted to re-use the water in which you parboiled the peaches as it will have been contaminated with pesticides.

Plunge the peeled peach halves into the lightly bubbling syrup and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and leave to cool.

While the peaches are cooking, save the 12 best looking raspberries for garnish. mash the remaining raspberries with the back of a fork with the icing sugar and a squirt of lemon juice.

Using an electric mixer, whip the cream into a silky crùme Chantilly. The top tips for achieving the perfect Chantilly are: 1. make sure the cream, bowl and whisk are all very cold. I place the whisk and cream in the freezer 20 min beforehand. 2. beat the cream at low speed first, moving in stages to high speed, and wait until the cream starts bubbling before adding the sugar (slowly) and vanilla extract. 3. stop once the whisk leaves well defined marks in the cream. Dip a spoon in it and turn it upside down. If the cream peak on the spoon stays up, it is ready. If not, give it another whisking. The Chantilly should only take 2-3 minutes to make. Don’t overbeat otherwise you will reach the consistency of butter.

Just before serving:

Pour some raspberry coulis in martini or wide glasses, place a good sized ice cream scoop on top and a peach half. Top with the Chantilly and a few fresh raspberries. Serve right away.

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The poached peaches, coulis and chantilly can all be prepared ahead, so all is left to do at dessert time is to put them together.

The great taste of this dessert rests on the quality of each of its components. Don’t use ready-made Chantilly and make sure your peaches or nectarines are sweet and ripe.

Some types of nectarine cannot be pitted easily. If you experience this problem, boil the nectarines whole in the syrup, allowing them to simmer a couple of minutes longer than the indicated 10 minutes, and halve and pit them only once they are cooked.
Ingredients

For the poached peaches:
2 large yellow peaches or nectarines
200 g sugar
2 star anise
1 1/2 teaspoons of 5 spice mix (also called mixed spice)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
Vanilla ice cream (enough to make 4 large scoops)

For the raspberry coulis:
- 200 g raspberries
-60 g icing sugar
-drops of lemon juice

For the chantilly:
-20 cl double or whipping cream
-1 tablespoon icing sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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