Peach Melba Kuchen is the perfect way to use up seasonal fresh local peaches and raspberries. “Kuchen” is the German word for cake, and applies to dozens of different varieties of desserts in that country. This particular kuchen has a short buttery almond crust, covered with fresh peaches and raspberries, with a rich custard filling over the top. It’s really a cross between a fruit custard tart and moist bars, but kuchen sounds a lot more glamorous, so guests will be impressed. Actually, everyone lucky enough to sample this dessert will be impressed because it’s so good. The flavors of classic Peach Melba: peaches, raspberries, and almonds, are showcased to advantage in this dessert, and it’s good warm from the oven or at room temperature.
Most experts agree that Peach Melba was developed by Auguste Escoffier, who was at one time the head chef of the Savoy Hotel in London, and that it was named for the famous opera singer, Nellie Melba. According to The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, by John F. Mariani, however, there are differing beliefs as to when and where. A recipe for Peach Melba appeared in Escoffier’s A Guide to Modern Cooking, which was published in 1907. Escoffier had been serving the dish for several years and it had appeared on the menus of the various places that he had been chef; most believe it was first served around 1892 or 1893 when he was at the Savoy. Originally, it was simply poached peaches over vanilla ice cream, then Escoffier improved it with the raspberry sauce. It is unknown when the almonds were added, but they do complement the dish nicely.
Although this dessert is quite rich and decadent on its own, a sprinkling of powdered sugar or a bit of sweetened whipped cream can be added for garnish.
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup whole almonds
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh peaches, (about 3 medium) sliced
1 pint raspberries
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Spray a 9 x 9" or 11 x 7" glass casserole dish with non-stick spray; set aside.
- Crust: Place flour, almonds, sugar (2 tablespoons), salt, and baking powder in food processor and process until the almonds are powdered.
- Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly.
- Pat the mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared casserole dish and 1" up the sides.
- Arrange the peach slices evenly over the crust; scatter the raspberries over the top.
- Sprinkle the fruit with the 1/3 cup sugar.
- Whisk together the egg yolks, whole egg, and whipping cream; pour over the fruit.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the center is set.
- Remove from the oven and let sit 15 minutes before cutting into squares.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 409 Calories from Fat 262
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 64% Protein 6% Carb. 30%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 29 g
Saturated Fat 15 g
Cholesterol 155 mg
Sodium 181 mg
Total Carbohydrate 31 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 11 g
Protein 6 g
Vitamin A 24% Vitamin C 17% Calcium 0% Iron 5%