The City Magazine Since 1975

Peach Melba

June 2024
Chez Nous chef Jill Mathias’s sweet, delicate, and refreshing rendition of the classic dessert
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4 peaches 
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla paste
1 cup sugar, divided
1½ cups fresh raspberries
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
4 scoops vanilla ice cream, divided


Bring a large pot filled with water to a boil. Make an ice bath in a bowl with equal parts ice and water. 

Score an X in the skin on the bottom of the peaches, without cutting deeply into the flesh. Submerge the peaches in the boiling water for one to two minutes, until the skin loosens. Remove and submerge them in the ice bath to cool and stop the cooking. Peel the peaches, cut in half, and remove the pits. Place the peaches in a glass or stainless-steel container. 

Reserving two teaspoons of sugar, sprinkle the rest on the peaches. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes. 

Bring four cups of water to a simmer over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the peaches, along with their juices made by the sugar, and the vanilla bean. Reduce the heat to medium and poach the peaches at a low simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the peaches are very soft. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool the peaches to room temperature in the poaching liquid.

Combine the raspberries and lemon juice in a blender and puree. Strain the liquid into a bowl and discard the seeds. Add the reserved two teaspoons of sugar to the puree and stir to dissolve.

The peaches can be poached one day ahead, covered, and held in their juices in the refrigerator. The raspberry sauce can be made one day ahead, covered, and stored in the refrigerator.

To serve, place two peach halves in a bowl with some of their liquid. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle the raspberry puree over the top.

Ripe for the Picking: “Try to use really ripe peaches for that extra boost of sweetness,” notes Mathias.

Gaffney’s Peachoid 
Made famous by its star turn in the Netflix series House of Cards, this 135-foot-tall water tower along Interstate 85 in the Upstate was built in 1981 as a paean to the region’s peach farming community. Today, the area celebrates its peach bounty with a festival each July. For details, visit

Lexington County Peach Festival - July 4, 2024
Arrive early to score fresh peaches and stay late for the fireworks. In between, get your fill of peach cobbler and peach ice cream. Also: don’t miss the car show, live music, and a parade featuring Miss Peach 2024. Thursday, 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Gilbert Community Park, 110 Rikard Cir., Gilbert.

Chez Nous
6 Payne St., Downtown