Producer Natalie Whittle. Filmed by Liam McCarthy. Edited by Oliver McGuirk.
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[LIGHT STRING MUSIC]
It was in 1892, in London, during the years when Escoffier ruled supreme over the kitchens of the Savoy Hotel. He'd attended Covent Garden and applauded Nellie Melba in Lohengrin, and this gave him the inspiration of serving up his creation next day. Nellie liked it so much. She said, what's it called? Escoffier said to her, I'm afraid it doesn't have a name at present. The peche Melba was born.
Peach Melba is the quintessence of summer. You need really lovely, beautiful white peaches, raspberries, and you need ice cream. The first thing we have to do for Peach Melba is to peel the peaches. Just drop them into boiling water. I count to 20, and drop them into very cold or ice water. As you can see, the peel comes off very, very simply.
The heart of this dish is Melba sauce. 200 grammes of raspberries and say two tablespoons of sugar. A little bit of lemon juice. So we just mush those around, and in half an hour there will be pretty much a sauce.
When I was trained, we always made our syrups with champagne.
I bought a bottle of Carver, 6 pounds 50. Let's say three tablespoons of sugar, either a whole vanilla pod, seeds scraped out, or just a little bit of this vanilla extract. Some lemon peel. That's all we need for the syrup. I'm going to put that on heat, just kind of bring it to the boil, let it simmer for about five minutes, then I'm going to drop my peaches in.
Drop these peaches very carefully into the lovely syrup, and I am going to bring that up to a simmer. Because these peaches are so beautifully ripe, I'm just going to turn the heat off and let them sit and infuse in the syrup.
So the peaches have been sitting there beautifully infusing. Let those cool down. And I'm going to reduce this, take out the lemon peel, put it back on the heat, then boil like billy.
So back at the raspberry sauce, you can see pretty much of a sauce already. I'm pushing these seeds through. They are actually slightly bitter, so this way I'm simply separating them out. So it's nice and viscous now, ready to go. So all we've got to do is to put everything together. There we have it. Peach Melba. And as Sydney Smith said about eating foie gras, eat to the sound of trumpets.