Peaches Melba is a wonderful dessert or snack for summer that was a great hit with all of the guests at our cabin last weekend. It's perfect for large or small group as the recipe is very easily tweaked for more or less servings.
The pictures this week aren't also great because they were literally fast snapshots while I was serving up the rest of the guests.
For the Stewed Peaches:
6 ripe peaches
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 sprigs rosemary
Boil a large pot of water and prepare a large bowl of ice water. Place 3 peaches in the boiling water with a slotted spoon for about 15 seconds. Remove peach from the boiling water and move your thumb firmly across the skin. If the skin wrinkles and feels loose place that peach in the ice water. Repeat with the remaining two peaches. If the skin doesn't wrinkle return the peach to the boiling water for another 15 seconds. Peal the peaches with your fingers starting opposite from the stem. If the skin doesn't come off easily, place back in the boiling water to repeat the process.
Repeat this process with the other three peaches.
In a large sauce pan large enough to hold all peaches in a single layer, add water, sugar, and vanilla. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stop stirring and let the mixture boil for 5 minutes to create the syrup. Turn down the heat to medium low so the syrup gently simmers, and add rosemary and peaches in a single layer. Cook covered, about 20 min, turning the peaches with rubber spatulas a couple times in order not to mar them. Baste occasionally with the syrup.
(How much you want the peaches cooked is up to you. They shouldn't be mushed, but it really depends on what consistency you want. I usually go with: if you can make a deep scratch with a toothpick easily on the peach, its done.)
Place finished peaches in a casserole pan. Raise the heat under the syrup to medium, and boil for about 5 more minutes to make a thick syrup. Pour the syrup and the rosemary over the peaches, and cover the dish with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
For the Raspberry Sauce:
2 pints raspberries
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
Mash the berries through a stainer to just gather the juice. Stir in sugar and lemon juice. Cover and place in refrigerator.
Cut peaches in half. Serve on a small plate or in a small dish with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce.
Whew! It looks like a lot, I know, but it only took me about an hour and a half. I had some not-so-ripe peaches and they didn't really work that well so be sure your peaches are ripe.
I will be posting another recipe soon sometime this week that was also a big hit at my cabin so check back later!