I brainstormed a lot of ways to dress up this ice cream. Perhaps by adding some fresh ginger, or cookie crumbs to make it peach cobbler ice cream, I could make my ice cream more interesting and to keep it from being buried by the hundreds of thousands of hits that come up when you Google "peach ice cream."
But in the end, I decided to keep it simple, and just let the very basic ingredients of this ice cream to shine through.
So here it is, fresh peach ice cream without any of the bells and whistles I usually add. This ice cream really lets the peaches shine through, so be sure to only use sweet, juicy peaches you would want to eat on their own
It's the quintessential summer dessert; there's really no substitute for making your own creamy custard and stirring in fresh, juicy peaches.
We can get most fruits year round now, we hardly think about their seasons (For the longest time, I thought that grapes grew during the winter, before I figured out that we imported them from Chile.) But that trick we pull with so many fruits doesn't really work for peaches. Out-of-season ones are mushy, grainy, and tasteless. Peaches remain a summer fruit; there's something fleeting about them, their brief appearance at farmer's markets and in our desserts as we scramble to use as many of them as we can before they go out of season.
This ice cream capitalizes on their short-lived nature, packing as much of their flavor as possible in a single scoop, a single spoonful. It's a flash of summer, sweet and fragrant, to be savored slowly before it melts and slips away.
Fresh Peach Ice Cream
Yields about 1 quart | Click here for the printer-friendly recipe.
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup sugar, divided
4 egg yolks
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ripe yellow peaches
pinch of cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Pour the heavy cream and milk into a saucepan and heat until it just begins to simmer.
- Whisk together the egg yolks and ½ cup sugar. Slowly pour the hot cream into the eggs, whisking constantly.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly. Cook until until the custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Let it cool completely, then refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Peel the peaches and cut them into small cubes.
- Place the peaches in a pot over low heat. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar, the cinnamon, and the lemon juice.
- Cook for 5 - 10 minutes, or until the peaches have released their juices. Taste, and add more sugar if needed. Let cool completely, then refrigerate for several hours.
- Stir in the peach mixture to the custard. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Freeze the ice cream for several hours, until it is firmer.