Hello, all. Charlotte Fresh has been out of town, so this week Hubby is providing a guest post. (He’s so awesome!) Below is a recipe for yummy peach ice cream he made while I was away. He was kind enough to save me some, so I can attest that it is very good. Grab some peaches this weekend and give it a churn. – xoxo, CF
As CF recently wrote, cling peaches from Pee Dee Orchards have already come in (early!) at Matthews. With the Memorial Day weekend kicking off summer, I wanted to do something summery with these juicy little guys. There’s something to be said for simply cutting a peach in half, chucking the stone, painting on some balsamic, and grilling the thing. But that’s easier said than done with cling peaches, where you can make a holy mess trying to halve the them and get the stone out. Enter this alternative way to kick off summer then: peach ice cream.
This is a hybrid between improvisation and the standard recipe from the instructions to our ice cream machine. For that reason, you might have to adjust the quantities if your machine is much bigger or much smaller. Check your instruction booklet and go from there. As to the peaches, I like to use them fresh, with skins on. You could blanch and skin them if you prefer them fuzz-free. How many peaches you need to get to 2 C will depend on how big they are and how much of the flesh you lose stuck to the darned cling stone. I think I used 3.
Fresh Recipe: Hubby’s Peach Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
- 2 C diced/chunked peaches
- 1 C milk, cold. Our instruction book says to use whole; I used skim because it was in the house.
- 2 C heavy cream, cold
- 1 C sugar, divided
- Juice of one lemon
- Mint sprig (4 – 6 leaves)
- Vanilla extract to taste — 1/2 to 1 tsp (see below)
Chop peaches into about 1/2″ dice, cutting around and discarding the stones of course. Toss them in a bowl or measuring cup with 1/3 C sugar, lemon juice, and mint. (Bruise the mint leaves to release flavor, but leave them whole so you can remove them later.) Let this sit in the fridge an hour or two. Peachy flavor will leach into the lemon/sugar liquid.
Retrieve peaches from fridge; remove and discard the mint leaves. Pick out about one-fourth of the peach chunks — the best looking pieces, some with skin to make it colorful — and chop smaller, into about 1/4″ dice. Reserve. Purée the remainder in a blender or food processor. Then pass the purée through a strainer: liquids into a small saucier and solids into a bowl. Reduce the liquid over medium heat until syrupy. The purpose of this is to get the water out; we’ve made fresh fruit ice creams before, and when a lot of juice or water has been left in, that forms ice crystals upon freezing and yields an overly heavy, dense ice cream.
While the liquid reduces, whisk milk, cream, vanilla, and remaining 2/3 C sugar with the peach purée solids until mixture is a bit frothy and sugar is dissolved. Then combine in the reduced peach purée syrup. Letting the syrup cool some after reducing is a boon, but not crucial since this is an eggless ice cream base. Mixing it in uncooled will not appreciably warm the much larger amount of cold milk and cream.
Put the mixture in your ice cream machine and run according to its instructions (25 – 30 minutes, ours says) until thickened. Monitor the consistency of the mixture closely. When it is semi-soft, about 5 minutes from done, add in the reserved peach chunks. This is a Goldilocks moment. If you add the chunks too soon, they can get shredded due to being pummeled by your machine’s agitator for too long. If you add them too late, they can’t evenly mix throughout already-frozen ice cream.
When ice cream is thick, place in freezer to firm up more, or enjoy straight away. Serve with mint sprig, peaches or market-fresh berries as topping. (Strawberries in the fridge from last Saturday were the last of the year at Matthews, we’re told. The first blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are now in this weekend.)
A note on the vanilla extract: I used 1 tsp, per our machine’s instruction book. When all was said and done, I found the ice cream to have sort of a peachilla flavor. If I had this to do over, I’d try less vanilla, to give some flavor backbone but not be noticeable, since this recipe is a star vehicle for the peaches, after all.