May 9, 2023

Grilled Peach and Raspberry Melba

Recipe: Lisa Ahier

“This dessert conjures up memories of endless July days of 100°F Texan heat, when the air is dripping with humidity and there’s got to be a breeze and it’s just so darn hot that ice cream is the only thing that makes more sense than air-conditioning. Peaches were the high point of my childhood summers. We didn’t often have raspberries in our house—they are not well adapted to Texas conditions—but when we did, and when this treat was set before me after a Sunday family dinner, I was in peach and raspberry and ice cream heaven. My mom would always fancy up this simple recipe by finding the coolest glassware to present it in. It seemed to my eight-year-old self the height of elegance. I love to modernize retro classics, so my spin on original peach melba involves grilling or broiling the peaches instead of poaching them.” – Lisa Ahier


Plain Ole Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeded, both the seeds and pod
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1½ cups heavy cream

Melba Sauce

  • 2 cups frozen or fresh raspberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ½ tsp salt

The Melba

  • 4 lusciously ripe peaches, halved and pitted
  • Oil, for brushing (optional)
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream (see above)
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries, for garnish (optional)
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chiffonade (see note below), for garnish (optional)

Note: To chiffonade mint leaves, simply stack 10 or so leaves and roll them up tightly like a cigar. Use a sharp knife to slice lengthwise across the roll. Fluff with your fingertips to separate the slices.


Yield: Serves 4

Make Vanilla Ice Cream

  1. In bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla seeds.
  2. In medium saucepan over medium heat, bring milk, cream and vanilla pod to a simmer. Do not let mixture come to a boil. Remove milk mixture from heat and, very slowly, ladle ¼ cup at a time into egg mixture, constantly whisking until well incorporated. (This is called tempering; it reduces the chance of the yolks curdling.)
  3. Return pot to stovetop and simmer mixture, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Watch and tend your base so that eggs do not curdle. The mixture is ready when it registers as 165°F on instant-read thermometer. (No thermometer? Cook, stirring, until mixture has sufficiently thickened and coats back of wooden spoon.)
  4. Using fine-mesh strainer, strain mixture into bowl to remove any curdled egg. Place bowl in ice bath, without allowing any water to infiltrate mixture. Let chill on ice bath for 1 hour, then cover bowl and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours, or overnight.
  5. For processing, follow manufacturer’s instructions for your ice cream maker. If you do not have an ice cream maker, pour mixture into shallow freezer-proof container, cover and place in freezer. Take it out every 30 minutes and mix well with hand blender. (If you have to stir by hand, well then, stir like crazy.) Repeat 4 to 6 times for creamy result.

Make Melba Sauce

  1. In small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine raspberries, sugar, orange juice and salt. Cook down until sugar has melted and raspberries are softened, about 5 to 10 minutes, then stir with wooden spoon.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Using an immersion blender or in traditional blender, blend sauce until smooth. This sauce can be made in advance and stored in fridge for up to 1 week.

Grill Peaches

  1. Brush cut sides of fruit with oil. Place peaches on grill (you can use a gas or charcoal grill or an indoor grill pan) cut-side down over direct heat until flesh develops grill marks and starts to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes. Brush skins with oil, then flip peaches and grill for another 2 to 3 minutes. The skin will loosen, and you can ease it off.
  2. Alternatively, you can broil peaches: Preheat broiler or oven to 500°F. Keep ice cream and melba sauce on hand. Place peaches skin side down in broiler pan. Set pan under broiler or in oven for 3 to 4 minutes. Once tops of peaches start to caramelize, they are ready.

Combine and Serve

  1. Once peaches are hot and bubbly, assemble your dessert any way you’d like it. I’m a sauce-on-bottom-hot-peaches-then-ice-cream-on-top kind of girl.
  2. Garnish with raspberries and fresh mint chiffonade, if you desire.
Author: Alexandra Whyte

Jeremy Koreski


Excerpted from Together at Sobo by Lisa Ahier, with Susan Musgrave. © 2023 Lisa Elaine Ahier. Photographs by Jeremy Koreski. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved