Friday, October 14, 2005

Peach Melba

Summer is the time for sun-warmed peaches.
Alas, my parent's peach is ailing, and though it produces hundreds of fruits, they are all tiny little suckers, with barely a half-inch of flesh around the pit. (This is a result of bark beetles; one can prevent an infestation by the simple expedient of a ring of Tanglefoot sticky resin painted around the trunk. This also prevents aphid-farming ants.) So what do you do with hundreds of little tiny peaches?

Use them in recipes, of course.

N.B.: You can easily remove skins from peaches by cutting an X in the bottom and immersing the peaches for 30-60 seconds in boiling water. This step is entirely unnecessary with very fresh peaches as the skin slips off easily.

Peach Melba

You will need:
1/2 cup AND 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup AND 1/4 cup water
2 tblsp fresh lemon juice
4 medium peaches, pitted, peeled, and sliced (about 2 cups of tiny peach slices)
2 cups fresh raspberries (or 2 cups frozen berries, thawed)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Vanilla ice cream (or frozen yogurt)
Fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)

In a large skillet, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and lemon juice. Mix well, bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook for five minutes. Place peach slices in skillet and reduce heat to low; cover and cook, turning once, until tender (about six minutes.) Drain the peaches and discard the liquid; place peaches in small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill.

In a blender or food processor combine raspberries and remaining water. Process until smooth and strain to remove seeds (unless you don't care about them.) In a small bowl, mix raspberry purée with remaining sugar and vanilla; cover and chill for ten minutes. Put it all together— peaches go in bowls, top with vanilla ice cream, drizzle the raspberry sauce on top, and garnish with the mint.

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