So, it’s just about the end of peach season (sniff!) and therefore of one of my very favorite treats in the world, homemade peach ice cream. My friend Andrea recently made the best peach ice cream I have ever tasted in honor of the last days of summer, and so I share it with you. Go out and buy some peaches!
Peach Ice Cream
By Andrea Dunlap
I’ve recently switched from making basic cream ice cream recipes (with raw egg and all) to the custard kind. I used to be a real stickler for not cooking the ingredients and I really can’t remember why any more. Probably pure contrariness. James Beard’s American Cookery recipes brought me out of the woods and I don’t think I’ll be looking back anytime soon. The first custard recipe I tried knocked my socks off and then my good friend begged me to make it with peaches. I like hand-cranked ice cream (check out my Ice Cream for Cranks Instructable for instructions), but you can adapt for an electric ice cream maker if you must.
Make a rich custard in the upper part of a double boiler by combining 6 egg yolks, 2 cups milk, 1 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the mixture is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon or spatula and let it cool. Stir in 1 1/2 tsp vanilla or the seeds from a vanilla bean.
James B. just said to put about 3 cups sliced sugared peaches and 1 tbsp lemon juice into the ice cream when half frozen. What I ended up doing (and my taste testers approved) was to puree about 2 cups of peaches in a chinoise. This is an old tool my grandma passed down to my mother and my mother sold at a garage sale. I had to track mine down at Sur la Table. You could also use just about any puree method you like (for some reason I’m on this kick where I try not to use electricity). I then sugared about 1 1/2 cups peaches and put some lemon on them so they wouldn’t brown.
Pour the mixture into the freezing can fitted with a dasher. The classic custard recipe calls for 4 cups cream, but there was no room! I didn’t panic but I did squeeze in about 1/3 cup creme fraiche instead.
I think next time I would like the ice cream to be a tad peachier, and I still have a lot to learn in the custard department. How do you make sure it’s custard and not get to that kind of yolky avgolemono soup texture?
Despite my custard travails, the ice cream never fails and I am looking forward to the experimentation required to perfect my recipe.
About the author: Andrea Dunlap is a photographer, filmmaker, and foodie living in the Bay Area. http://seedlingproject.org