Peach Melba Baked Alaska
This blend of two classic desserts features a bottom crust and outer dome of meringue forming an insulating igloo for a pastel mound of peach and raspberry sorbets, which remain frosty despite a quick pass through the oven to brown the piped meringue.
- Servings: 8
Photography: Dana Gallagher
Source: Martha Stewart Living, July/August 2000
- 8 large egg whites
- 2 cups superfine sugar
- 2 pints peach sorbet, slightly softened
- 1 pint raspberry sorbet, slightly softened
- 3 peaches
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Heat oven to 250 degrees. Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit a baking sheet. Turn over an 8-inch-diameter metal bowl on parchment paper, and trace the perimeter of the bowl; place the parchment on the baking sheet, pencil side down, and set aside. Fit a 12-inch pastry bag with a 1/2-inch-wide open-star tip, and set aside.
Place 2 egg whites in the clean bowl of an electric mixer. Beat the whites until soft peaks form. Slowly pour in 1/2 cup superfine sugar. Continue to beat until stiff and shiny. Transfer to prepared pastry bag. Pipe a spiral of meringue starting in the center of the circle and finishing just inside the pencil mark. Bake meringue disk until dry, making sure not to let it brown, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool completely.
While meringue is baking, line the metal bowl with plastic wrap so the plastic hangs over the edges. Fill the bowl with peach sorbet, making a deep well in the center, and press to make it smooth. Fold over the plastic wrap to cover the top, and freeze until hard, about 30 minutes.
When peach sorbet has hardened, fill well with raspberry sorbet; press to make a smooth top. Cover again with plastic wrap; return to the freezer until ready to serve.
Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Cut peaches in half, and remove pits. Arrange peach halves, cut side up, in a baking dish. Sprinkle with granulated sugar, and dot with butter. Bake until browned and tender, about 25 minutes, brushing occasionally with butter and juices. Allow to cool while finishing meringue, then cut in half.
Just before serving, prepare meringue for the top. Prepare a 16-inch pastry bag with the same open-star tip. Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. Place the 6 remaining egg whites in the clean bowl of the electric mixer, and beat until soft peaks form. Slowly add remaining 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar; continue to beat until very stiff and shiny, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to prepared pastry bag.
Place meringue disk on ovenproof serving platter. Remove sorbet from freezer; uncover top. Warm sides of bowl with hands until sorbet comes out by pulling plastic wrap. Gently invert sorbet onto meringue disk. Quickly pipe meringue over dome. Place in oven until top of meringue just starts to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately with roasted peaches.