This version of the classic dessert, Peach Melba, has a bit of an Italian flavour. It was inspired by Garrie and Giuliana Vincenti, a charming couple of peach farmers I met in my travels through Western Australia.
- 500 ml (2 cups) water
- 375 ml (1½ cups) sparkling wine or prosecco
- 165 g (¾ cup) caster sugar
- 6 thyme sprigs, plus extra to garnish
- 3 firm, ripe white or yellow peaches, halved, stones removed
- 250 ml (1 cup) peach poaching liquor
- 2 punnets raspberries
- 4 egg yolks
- 75 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) sparkling wine or prosecco
- 150 g mascarpone, whisked
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 15 minutes
Freezing time 4 hours
To poach the peaches, add the water, wine, sugar and thyme to a large saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the peach halves, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the surface with a cartouche, and simmer for a further 5 minutes until the peaches are tender. Remove the peaches from the poaching liquor and set aside to cool, reserving 1 cup for the granita. Once cool enough to handle, remove the peach skins and discard. Chill the liquid, then pour over the peaches and return to the fridge until ready to serve.
To make the raspberry granita, puree the reserved poaching liquor and raspberries in a food processor or blender. Pour the mixture into a shallow tray and place in the freezer for 4 hours or until frozen solid.
For the zabaglione cream, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Add the wine and continue to whisk over the heat for 15 minutes until the mixture has tripled in size and is very thick and fluffy. Check the bottom of the bowl while you are whisking, it should be warm but not too hot to touch. Remove from the heat, and continue to beat for a further 5 minutes or until the mixture has cooled. Gently fold in the mascarpone until well combined.
To serve, scrape the surface of the granita with a fork to create light, fluffy crystals. Spoon the zabaglione cream into bowls, top with a peach half and a spoonful of granita. Serve immediately.
• You can serve the remaining granita as an accompaniment to desserts.