Did you know that the beloved dessert, peach melba, was actually created by the one and only Auguste Escoffier? Escoffier Chef Instructor Steve Konopelski demonstrates his take on this world-renowned dish with his Caramelized Peach Melba with Sweet Cream.
- 2-3 medium peaches, ripe but not overly ripe—pitted and sliced into 8 pieces each
- 250 g granulated sugar
- 65 g water
- 85 g unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
- Splash of corn syrup
- Small thumb of fresh ginger, smashed
- 1 large piece of lemon peel
- 2 oz crumbled feta
- 2 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1-2 Tbsp of heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp honey
- Candied nuts or cookie crumbs for garnish
- To cook the peaches – Place water, then sugar, then corn syrup into a medium-sized saucepan. Make sure the sugar is hydrated and the sides of the pan cleaned with a damp pastry brush to avoid any sugar crystals.
- Cook over medium heat until a blonde caramel is formed. Reduce heat to low and mount in the butter, one piece at a time whisking constantly to create an emulsion. Caramel will splatter and foam after the first butter addition.
- Once all the butter has been incorporated, add the peach pieces, ginger and lemon peel. Stir until the peaches are coated.
- Allow peaches to cook for about 5 minutes in the mixture until juices are released and fragrant. Peaches don’t need to be cooked all the way through.
- Remove from heat and place lid on saucepan for about 5 minutes to continue to cook peaches. Stir once or twice.
- Strain cooked peaches, reserving liquid in a liquid measuring cup or another container. Whisk the juices frequently until they have cooled to room temperature.
- While peaches are cooling, prepare the cream. Place feta and cream cheese in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until very smooth, scraping down the sides often.
- Add honey and continue to pulse until well blended. Thin out mixture if needed by adding the heavy cream, a little at a time. More honey may be needed depending on desired taste level (there will be more sweetness from the juices of the peaches).
- Divide cream mixture between 2 bowls. Make a large indent and swirl with the back of a spoon. Drizzle cooled peach juice into the indentation in the cream mixture.
- Arrange poached peaches and drizzle more sauce as needed. Garnish with toasted nuts or cookie/cake crumbs and serve immediately.
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