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Better Peach Melba

Better Peach Melba

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.)

Serves 4.

Read more: Food, All recipes, Desserts,

By Melissa Breyer, Producer, Care2 Green Living

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


+ add your own
7:01AM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

Thank you

6:47AM PDT on Aug 25, 2012


11:14AM PDT on Aug 11, 2007

How about the nutritional value e.g.
calories, fat, sodium, sugar content???
Joanne H.

2:42PM PDT on Aug 9, 2007

Sounds just yummy! Will have to try it.

12:48PM PDT on Aug 9, 2007

this treat looks incredible! both peaches and raspberries are favorites; i can't imagine how one can go wrong with this recipe. also, thank you for the factoid on Greek yogurt and to make it at home. bon apetit!

11:32AM PDT on Aug 9, 2007

I can't wait to try it! I love Peach Melba but am very health and calorie conscious. This sounds like a winner; simple and delicious! There is nothing more sweet and satisfying than a peach and raspberry dessert in the summertime!

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