I never make peach ice cream that I don’t think of my friend Sue. I can’t remember all of the details or the occasion, but she once upon a time made a whole big mess of peach ice cream with her dear buddy, Father John Reedy, long-time much-loved editor at Ave Maria Press at Notre Dame University. Somehow no one got the memo and so there were no takers for dessert. The two were left with more ice cream than you could wave a scoop at. Needless to say, I don’t see Sue eating a ton of peach ice cream these days.
As late summer wanes and early fall approaches, and before you’re all apple cobbler and whatnot, there might still be boo coo peaches in your neck of the woods– as there are here– to make my dreamy, creamy-cold confection. (If not, frozen peaches will work in a quick pinch.) I continue to buy immense boxes of the things, leaving a few at room temperature or in the southern window for ripening and storing the rest in the fridge so they don’t rot before I get to them. The very last batch will hopefully be sliced, stirred up with lemon juice, and tossed into the door of the big freezer for a fall pie. Hello, Thanksgiving.
Meanwhile, I’m slicing them up for my morning yogurt or eating a big one out of hand mid-afternoon with the requisite juicy chin dribble and sigh.
Is there anything like a peach? (Witness the tempting word “peachy” to describe perfection in the American vernacular.) If I’m awfully motivated, I might even make these muffins, sans cherries–or perhaps with frozen cherries, if I have them:
This year’s version of peach ice cream has its own name: Peach Dream. Somehow, during the stirring, it occurred to me a little dreamsicle twist might work with peaches. You know dreamsicles? The bar the ice cream truck sells? Also known as creamsicles. So I poured in a little vanilla and squeezed off a couple of tablespoons of orange juice into the bowl and the mixture whispered, “Yes!” If you want a stronger dreamsicle flavor, add another tablespoon of oj and a second teaspoon vanilla extract.
Looking for a great ice cream book? Check out THE PERFECT SCOOP, by one of my favorite writers and food bloggers, David Lebovitz. The original book is several years old by now, but there is a more recent edition published last year. They’re both tasty.
If you’re making my peachy-keen ice cream, read through the directions first. You’ll need at least 7 hours lead time, if not overnight. First, you’ll have to peel and purée a big bowl of peaches. (See below.) The mixture, once stirred together, must chill thoroughly in the fridge for 6-24 hours before being frozen to assure its freezing in the time allotted.
TIPS: To easily peel peaches, bring a big pot of water to boil. Gently lower the peaches into their steam bath and retrieve them out again onto racks within a minute or so. Let them cool so that you can handle them, and the skins will slip off when pulled with a sharp paring knife. Make sure you purée these or chop them really, really finely or they’ll just be frozen hunks between your chattering teeth.
For those who don’t like to bake, ice cream provides the perfect dessert–easy and forever lovable by all. A few crispy cookies, like shortbread, are a good foil. Coffee remains my preferred drink with frozen desserts, but a chilled sparkling wine would work, too–perhaps a bubbly off-dry rosé. Whatever you drink with it, make my Peach Dream Ice Cream while the peaches are still hanging around. They won’t be for long. Try this:
peach dream ice cream — makes 2 quarts
- Ice Cream Freezer
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch salt
- 6 large peaches peeled, pitted, and pureed (about 7 cups)
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- Mix together all of the ingredients, cover, and chill for 6 hours or overnight. Freeze mixture in your ice cream maker according to the included directions. My batch of Peach Dream Ice Cream was soft-serve frozen in about 25 minutes in a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. You can also make the ice cream ahead and store it tightly covered in the freezer for a day or two for a harder dessert. Keeping frozen longer will result in crystals forming in the ice cream.
LAZY WOMAN’S VERSION: Peaches and Cream–No ice cream freezer needed. Slice ripe peaches and top with whipped heavy cream sweetened with honey and flavored with a tiny splash of vanilla. Optional: top with diced orange slices and ground walnuts or almonds.
You might not have even noticed, but I took an unannounced break from the blog last week for a gorgeous wedding in Milwaukee. Sorry, but that’s the way it went.
Of course I had to run around checking out a few foodie and other things: