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A recipe from award-winning author and chef Lisa Ahier's latest cookbook, Together at SoBo (and the perfect wine pairing to go with it.)
This dessert conjures up memories of endless July days and 100°F Texan heat, when the air is dripping with humidity and there’s got to be a breeze and it’s just so darn hot that ice cream is the only thing that makes more sense than air conditioning. Peaches were the high point of my childhood summers. We didn’t often have raspberries in our house—they are not well adapted to Texas conditions—but when we did, and when this treat was set before me after a Sunday family dinner, I was in peach and raspberry and ice cream heaven. My mom would always fancy up this simple recipe by finding the coolest glassware to present it in. It seemed to my eight-year-old self the height of elegance. I love to modernize retro classics, so my spin on original peach melba involves grilling or broiling the peaches instead of poaching them.
2 cups frozen or fresh raspberries
½ cup sugar
¼ cup orange juice
½ tsp salt
4 lusciously ripe peaches, halved and pitted
Oil, for brushing (optional)
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 pint fresh raspberries, for garnish (optional)
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chiffonade, for garnish (optional)
Prepare the melba sauce: In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine the raspberries, sugar, orange juice and salt. Cook down until the sugar has melted and raspberries are softened (about 5 to 10 minutes), then stir with a wooden spoon.
Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Using an immersion blender or in a traditional blender, blend the sauce until smooth. This sauce can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Grill the peaches: Brush the cut sides of the fruit with oil. Place the peaches on the grill (you can use a gas or charcoal grill or an indoor grill pan) cut side down over direct heat until the flesh develops grill marks and starts to soften (about 3 to 5 minutes). Brush the skins with oil, then flip the peaches and grill for another 2 to 3 minutes. The skin will loosen, and you can ease it off.
Alternatively, you can broil the peaches: Preheat the broiler or oven to 500°F. Keep the ice cream and melba sauce on hand. Place the peaches skin side down in a broiler pan. Set the pan under the broiler or in the oven for 3 to 4 minutes. Once the tops of the peaches start to caramelize, they are ready.
Once the peaches are hot and bubbly, assemble your dessert any way you’d like it. Garnish with raspberries and fresh mint chiffonade, if you desire.
And wine not pair it with a delicious white…
Pairing a dessert is always such a trick—the classic route is sweet wine with high acid, such as a German auslese, but the reality is that most casual drinkers don’t want more sweet. Which is why I’m taking a chance on piquette—a farm workers’ staple, made with water and grape pomace. This classy version from Tantalus has super-low alcohol (7.5%), a light effervescence and subtle notes of complementary raspberry and strawberry. —Neal McLennan, Wine Editor
Recipe from Together at SoBo available on bookshelves now.
This recipe was originally published in the May/June 2023 print issue of Western Living—find the digital issue here.
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