Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Two'fer Tuesday Part deux: Peach Melba

I don't know about anyone else, but I love used bookstores! I frequent Half Price Books almost as much at the grocery store! While in school we had to do notebooks and we had to come up with new ideas for desserts based on whatever station we happened to be at. For example, while on pies and tarts we had to submit 3 new ideas for pies and tarts in our notebook. The point of these new ideas was to keep an eye out for new trends, flavors, creativity, originality, etc.

Since leaving school I have become quite the recipe monger! Every time I go to Half Price Books I make a bee line straight to the cookbooks. I also get more food related magazine subscriptions in my mailbox than should be legally allowed, but that is a different story entirely!! One day I came across a book at Half Price called A Passion for Desserts by Emily Luchetti I flipped through the book and immediately had to have it!

This week I decided to do a Two'fer Tuesday, making both the peach cobbler and a peach melba from A Passion for Desserts. I knew that I wasn't going to be putting 12 peaches into my cobbler! So why not double the pleasure and double the fun?

 The Cast:
Either two 13 X 9 pyrex dish or one pyrex and a cookie sheet that has a lip
A big bowl that you will be able to fit 8 peach halves in plus liquid
Food Processor, blender or food mill
Small saucepan
The ability to make whipping cream, whether that's with a hand beater, kitchen aid or if you have the muscle and brawn in your arm you can do it with a whisk!! Good luck with that! :) 
Sifter, fine mesh sieve, whatever you have that is small enough to catch a raspberry seed

White Peach Melba
The Ingredients:

Raspberry Granita:
12 ounces frozen raspberries with no added sugar, defrosted
1/4 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch of salt

Baked Peaches:
3/4 cup Moscato d'Atsi (if you can only find a white dessert wine that should work fine)
1/2 vanilla bean
4 Large, ripe white Peaches
1 Tablespoon sugar

Chantilly Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

First things first, the granita can take a couple hours, so you can either do it a day ahead or you can make it in the steps and play some solitaire! Or hey, read you favorite baking blog! But the peaches should be served immediately after baking, so whenever you start the peaches you have to finish!!

To make the granita puree the raspberries in your method of choice and pour through a sieve of some kind, I used a sifter. After straining add the sugar, water, lemon and salt and mix.

Once you have mixed the ingredients together either pour into the baking sheet with the lip or one of your pyrex dishes. It needs to be shallow enough that you can drag a fork across it after it has set up for an hour. After the first hour take it out and mix it with a fork, I just dragged it back and forth. After this you will check it after every 30 minutes repeating fork step until it is frozen.

Onward to the peaches! Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and gather your moscato and vanilla bean. Measure and pour the moscato into a bowl and them cut the vanilla bean in half horizontally and then cut that in half lengthwise and run the tip of the knife down the inside of the bean to gather all those nice little flecks of black! These are vanilla beans and you are going to put them straight into the bowl with the moscato. But save that pod they came in!  I let this sit while I cut the peaches in half. Same with the cobbler you want to cut them in half and kind of twist/pull, remove the put and peel off the skin! One more step though on the backside opposite the side where the pit was, you want to cut off a little bit of the peach so it sits perfectly still. Plus, it's a nice little treat for the baker.

After you are through with the peaches you are going to soak them in the moscato and vanilla bean mixture for ten minutes on each side. Then you will arrange them in your pyrex dish, sprinkle the tablespoon of sugar over the top and put them in the oven for 15 minutes if they are good and ripe, 20 minutes otherwise.

While the peaches are baking you are going to take the moscato and vanilla bean and put it in the small saucepan over medium high heat and let it reduce to about 1/3 of a cup. I took the pod from the vanilla bean and stuck it right in the syrup for more vanilla flavor. Keep an eye on this while you make the chantilly, it took me about 15 minutes for it to reduce the length of how long my peaches were in the oven.

To make the Chantilly, pour the heavy whipping cream into a bowl, kitchen aid or otherwise and then whip it! Whip it good! It is a common misconception that you whip everything together at the same time. If you add the sugar and vanilla right before it becomes full on "whip cream" it makes for better flavor, better texture and not such a heavy "whip cream". So go ahead and add the vanilla and sugar right about when you see the cream is thickening up, I describe it as what whip cream would look like if you left it out for about 5 minutes. It's still a little runny, but sort of whip cream. After you add the vanilla and sugar just whip it until it comes right to that point of whip cream. Don't over whip it or you make as well make some butter and buttermilk out of that heavy whipping cream!

After your syrup and peaches are done you want them to come to room tempature before you plate your final product! You don't want that warm peach and syrup to melt the granita and whip cream before you can get a pretty picture of it! Oh wait, that may just be me! :)

To plate this beauty of a dessert you are going to set the peach in a bowl/plate/whatever you want and spoon the raspberry granita right on top where the pit once was and then a dollop of whip cream on top of that! Drizzle some of the syrup around the bottom of the peaches and tada! You've got yourself a fancy looking dessert that isn't super hard to make and isn't a total blow to your calorie count!

That's it for two'fer Tuesday! Hope y'all stop by for Three'fer Thursday!


  1. Also, I was meaning to ask if the pictures on your blog are of the dishes you actually made or are they stock photos.

  2. They are pictures that I took of the dish! :)

  3. They all look very professional, both the food (obviously) and the photos! :)