Deconstructed desserts are very popular in restaurants. This one is inspired by peach melba, the dessert developed to celebrate famous Australian opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba.
Place water in a saucepan large enough to hold the peaches in one layer, and bring to the boil with the caster sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the lemon zest, peaches and thyme, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes covered with a cartouche (see Lyndey’s note) or until the peaches are just tender. Remove the peaches from the liquid and set aside to cool before peeling, halving and seeding. Slice each half into quarters and then into four wedges, or cut into random shapes if you prefer.
For the coconut and almond crumble, toss the flaked almonds in a small frying pan over low heat for 3 minutes or until just starting to colour. Add the coconut and continue to toss for a further 2 minutes or until the almonds and coconut are a light golden colour. Remove to a small bowl. In the same frying pan, add the butter, sugar and ground almonds and cook for 4 minutes until the butter melts and the mixture colours slightly. Remove from the heat and stir through the almonds and coconut and set aside to cool.
For the raspberry sauce, place the raspberries, icing sugar, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat, mashing the raspberries to a purée. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Push through a sieve to remove the seeds.
To serve, sprinkle each plate with coconut and almond crumble. Top with peach wedges and teaspoon-sized quenelles of crème fraîche. Drizzle over some raspberry sauce, dot with whole raspberries, sprinkle with thyme flowers and serve immediately.
A cartouche is a circular round cut from baking paper, just large enough to cover the pan. The cartouche will help the top of the peaches stay submerged and cook evenly.
This is not overly sweet, so try a late-picked riesling.
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