Peches Cardinal

A classic French dessert, Peches Cardinal (pehsh kar-din-ahl) has a fine fresh taste and is best made when both peaches arid raspberries are in season. The syrup may be stored in a screw-top jar and kept for poaching other fruit.

10 oz. sugar

1 ½ pints water

1 vanilla pod

4 large peaches, blanched, peeled, halved and stones removed

8 fl. oz. Melba Sauce, chilled

1 tablespoon kirsch

5 fl. oz. Creme Chantilly, chilled

12 fresh raspberries, chilled

2 tablespoons flaked almonds, toasted

In a large saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water over low heat, stirring constantly. When the sugar has dissolved, add the vanilla pod, increase the heat to moderate and bring the syrup to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the syrup for 3 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod. Carefully place the peach halves, cut sides up, in the syrup and simmer them for 3 to 5 minutes or until they are just tender.

Remove the pan from the heat and set the peaches aside to cool in the syrup. When they are cool, transfer the peaches and the syrup to a large shallow mixing bowl. Put the bowl in the refrigerator and chill the peaches for 1 hour or until they are very cold.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the melba sauce and kirsch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peach halves to chilled individual glass dishes. Discard the syrup or reserve it for future use.

Pour the melba sauce and kirsch mixture over the peaches.

Spoon the cremc chantilly into a forcing bag fitted with a ½ inch star nozzle.

Pipe stars of creme chantilly around the edges of the peach halves. Decorate the cream with the raspberries and scatter the almonds over the peaches.

Serve immediately.

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