Peach Ice Cream

Friends and family that know me best know that I collect 2 things. Cookbooks and cooking gadgets. When we bought our current house (which we have been in for 3 years) the kitchen already came with built in bookshelves that would easily house my 200+ cookbooks.  Without question, I knew this was the house for me.  A kitchen remodel last year secured lots of cabinet space to hold all my kitchen gadgets and electronics. You name it, I have it.  I can pretty much walk into Williams-Sonoma and can’t find anything to buy because I have everything.

This includes an ice cream maker with a built in compressor. It was ridiculously expensive, heavy as hell, and a total indulgence but I love it.  I don’t use it that often, but I have no buyer’s remorse.  Most electric ice cream makers come with a bowl that you have to pre-freeze for 24 hours. And if you want to make another batch? Well, you have to refreeze the bowl and start the clock again. This machine allows you to make ice cream on a whim.

I brought my CSA haul home this week which included peaches and instead of doing the healthy thing like eating them as is, I detoured to the market and picked up some heavy cream and half and half to make ice cream.  These are two things I generally don’t have on a whim.

When preparing your peaches for ice cream you need to remove the skin.  The best way to do this is cut a small X in the bottom of the peach and  put them in boiling water for about 20 seconds and then quickly remove them and put them in icy water.  The peels will slip right off.  Cut up the peaches in a small dice and then add to a sauce pan with corn syrup and sugar. Cook for about 4 minutes until the sugar melts and everything is blended together.

No need to clean out the saucepan.  Add the half and half and half of the cream and bring it to a simmer and then turn off the heat. img_0300

Whisk the egg yolk and sugar together until the yolks and pale and thick.

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Now what you want to do is combine the warm dairy with the egg mixture.  But guess what?  If you just pour the warm dairy in the eggs you will end up with scrambled eggs.  This is not good for ice cream.  You want to add the hot mixture a little at a time (just like dipping your toes in the pool) and then add it all in.  Mix it all up.

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Put the mixture back in the saucepan and turn the heat to medium.  With a wooden spoon you want to constantly stir to thicken the custard.  Do not walk away from this step.  It does not take very long and if you don’t pay attention the mixture can boil and then, well, throw everything out.  You never want the mixture to boil and when it’s ready you can use your finger to draw a line on you spoon.  It will take about 5 minutes.  If it leaves a line, you have custard.

Pour the custard through a mesh strainer into the peach mixture.  img_0307

Seriously, give me a spoon and I can eat this as soup.  But I will restrain.  Take about 3/4 of the mixture and puree it in a blender.  Add it back to the 1/4 chunky mixture.img_0308

Now you can puree the whole thing if you have a problem with bits of fruit in your ice cream.  Some people do.  I usually have a problem with fruit in ice cream as it sometimes gets icy and the whole texture is off.  But I followed the recipe and went with some texture.

Add the last of the cream to the whole mixture and some vanilla and put in the fridge to cool for a bit.  You don’t want to run warm custard in an ice cream maker.  Not even the most expensive ice cream maker will be able to churn ice cream that starts warm.  If you are really in a hurry, you can put the bowl over another bowl of ice to rush the process.

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Once the mixture is cool, run it through the ice cream maker according to your manufacturer’s directions.  Mine took about 35-45 minutes to get soft serve consistency.

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Transfer the ice cream to a container.  I love these for ice cream.  Put it in your freezer and freeze for about 4 hours before serving.  Clean up is a breeze, as everyone in your house will appear to eat the extras in the bowl and the dasher.

Fresh Peach Ice Cream (Williams Sonoma Kitchen Libraries)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (8 oz./250 g) peeled, pitted and finely chopped peaches (about 4 medium peaches)
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup  sugar (divided)
  • 1 1/2 cups of half-and-half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Put the peaches in a heavy saucepan.  Add 1/4 cup of sugar and the corn syrup.  Heat under medium heat.  Stir until the sugar melts and the peaches are heated (about 4 minutes).  Pour into a large bowl and set aside.

Add the half-and-half and 1/2 cup of the cream to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.  Remove from the heat.

In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until pale and thick.  Gradually pour in the hot half-and-half mixture, whisking constantly.  Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over medium low heat.  Cook stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and leaves a path on the back of the spoon. Do not allow the custard to boil.

Pout the custar through a sieve into the bowl of peach mixture.  Transfer about 3/4 of the mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.  Pour the puree into the reserved peach mixture.  Add the vanilla and the remaining 1/2 cup of cream and whisk to blend.  Refrigerate until cold, about an hour.  Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Transfer the ice cream to a container and freeze until firm at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

Make about 5 cups.