Although the original Peach Melba created by Escoffier for opera singer Nellie Melba was refined and luscious, the retro Peach Melba I grew up with was canned and cloying. Here’s a vibrant and healthier version that may not have the grand elegance of a Victorian diva, but is lovely nevertheless-nutritious, quick, seasonal and completely scrumptious.
Most recipes for Peach Melba call for a lot of sugar and some tedious steps that I prefer to skip. This recipe is somewhat lustier than the delicate version created for Dame Melba, but it is quicker and quite a bit healthier. I use maple sugar in this recipe, which I like for its purity and hearty flavor. If you can’t find maple sugar, any sugar should work just fine. You can increase the luscious factor (and calorie count) by swapping the yogurt for crème fraiche, ice cream, whipped cream, or a even a dollop of (sigh) heavenly mascarpone.
4 ripe peaches, washed and dried
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon maple sugar
3/4 cup Greek yogurt (see Helpful Hints below)
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons honey
1. Slice peaches in half and remove pits
2. Melt butter over medium heat in a pan large enough to hold all of the peach halves.
3. Stir in maple sugar and add peaches, cut side down.
4. Butter and sugar should be slightly bubbling and the sugar will slowly melt; occasionally (gently) swirl peaches around to prevent sticking.
5. Cook until bottoms are browned and peaches are slightly cooked through, about ten minutes.
6. Remove from heat and place 2 halves, cut side up, in 4 small bowls or plates.
7. Add a spoonful of Greek yogurt (or more decadent dairy if you choose).
8. Divide raspberries and scatter on top of yogurt.
9. Sprinkle pistachios on top and finish with a drizzle of honey. (Omit honey if you are using ice cream or other sweetened dairy in place of yogurt.)