Peaches: • 3 cups water
• 3 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 8 peaches
• 3 cups raspberries
• 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 large tub vanilla ice
• Put the water, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla pod into a wide saucepan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar.
• Bring the pan to the boil and let it bubble away for about 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to a fast simmer.
• Cut the peaches in half, and if the stones come out easily then remove them, if not then you can get them out later.
• Poach the peach halves in the sugar syrup for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side depending on the ripeness of the fruit.
• Test the cut side with the sharp point of a knife to see if they are soft, and then remove them to a plate with a slotted spoon.
• When all the peaches are poached, peel off their skins and let them cool (then you can remove any remaining stones). If you are making them a day in advance then let the poaching syrup cool and then pour into a dish with the peaches. Otherwise just bag up the syrup and freeze it for the next time you poach peaches.
• To make the raspberry sauce, liquidize the raspberries, confectioners’ sugar, and lemon juice in a blender or a food processor. Sieve to remove the pits and pour the puree into a jug.
• To assemble the Peach Melba, allow 2 peach halves per person and sit them on each plate alongside a scoop or 2 of ice cream.