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Peach Melba ? A culinary compliment for a great musical talent

It is a delicious dessert, which is sometimes served on the terrace in the summer. Surprising as it may seem, it was created as a tribute to a famous singer. A funny story and a delicious recipe that Monsieur de France presents to you today.


The origin of the Peach Melba

A famous singer. 

Nellie Melba (1867 1881)
Nellie Melba (1867 - 1931)

Nellie Melba, "coloratura soprano", is a very famous singer from Australia who has enchanted the greatest stages of the world. Born in 1861 in Melbourne, where she gave her first concert, she was especially noticed after a concert in Brussels in 1887. She was one of the very first to record a disc in 1904. It was during a performance of Lohengrin, at Covent Garden in London, that she enchanted the great chef Auguste Escoffier. He was then in charge of the kitchens of the "Savoy" hotel in the British capital. Inspired by the singer and by the swan that appeared on stage, Escoffier had an idea... ù

Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935) 

A recipe created in 1894 


He then embarked on the creation of a new and quite impressive dessert: in a block of ice, Escoffier carved a magnificent swan which he placed in a silver tumbler and filled with whipped cream. He placed poached peaches on top and covered the whole with raspberry puree and a little spun sugar. Launched under the name "Peach Swan", the idea became "Peach Melba" in homage to Nellie Melba. 

La pêche melba imaginée par Auguste Escoffier

The Peach Melba imagined by Auguste Escoffier

This recipe is quite simple 

Escoffier describes it himself "Poach the peaches in vanilla syrup. Arrange them in a timbale on a layer of vanilla ice cream and cover them with raspberry mash". Over time, variations were invented. The raspberry puree becomes a coulis in some recipes. Slivered almonds are added in others. 

Pêche Melba Photo par Leena Robinson/ShutterstockPêche Melba Photo par Leena Robinson/Shutterstock


The recipe for Peach Melba


For 4 people

  • 4 peaches not too ripe. They must "hold".
  • 200 grams of raspberries
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • Half a lemon 
  • 450 ml of whipped cream 
  • 450 ml of vanilla ice cream 
  • 60 grams of icing sugar
  • 200 grams of sugar 
  • A few slivered almonds. 
  • Make 4 cups. 



  1. Peel your peaches, remove the pits and cut them in half. 
  2. Prepare your raspberry puree by mixing the 200 grams of raspberries with the 60 grams of powdered sugar.
  3. Make your syrup, quite liquid, by putting in a saucepan you 200 grams of sugar, the vanilla pod, and by adding gradually a liter of water. 
  4. When your syrup is ready, put your peach quarters in it. 
  5. Cook the peaches in the syrup for about 10 minutes. 
  6. Take them out, drain them and put them in the fridge for a few minutes. 
  7. Take your cups. 
  8. In each cup, place 2 peach halves, then the vanilla ice cream, then the whipped cream and finally the whipped cream. 
  9. Sprinkle your slivered almonds. 


To save time, simply use peaches in syrup. You can also make "Apricot Melba" by using canned apricots. It's quite delicious. 

fancy other french sweet flavors ? for other recipes click here

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme is "monsieur de France" the author of this site.