Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Peach Ice Cream


I love fruit ice creams. I may be a big fan of chocolate, but when it comes to frozen cream and sugar, I want it to be simple. A creamy custard base, a burst of juiciness and a spoon are all I need to make me happy. I can walk right by the Moose Tracks, the Rocky Roads and the Brownie Fudge Swirls. It's strawberry, blueberry and peach that make me swoon.


So I found this recipe for Peach Ice Cream in one of Gourmet's summer issues and I promised myself that I would make this and make it for my children and grandchildren. This was IT.  I could imagine the perfection it would be, because I have often made a peach pie ( it happens to be my favorite, just so you know) with vanilla ice cream and that combination seems destined to be an ice cream. It just goes. And I've tried the store-bought kinds, but was always disappointed in the lack of peach flavor. I had to make it myself.

You know I would love to tell you we lived happily ever after. This ice cream takes lovely pictures. It had such potential. It still does. But I've made this twice, now and I have yet to achieve a silky smooth texture. I'm blaming the cornstarch. I've never seen cornstarch in an ice cream recipe before and I'm skeptical. I'm going to try it again, maybe combining this recipe with another one I've seen, because, my dear readers, this recipe has almond extract in it and that is peach's best friend. Mine, too, actually. I love it. I can't get enough of it. Ever since I tasted my mom's peach pie for the first time, I knew that it would be one of my favorite flavors--ever. That, and her signature cheesecake. I've been spoiled for anything else after that introduction to desserts. There is only one way for me.....the way my mother made it.


Peach Ice Cream
 from Gourmet June 2008

makes about 2 quarts

2 lb. ripe peaches
2 t. fresh lemon juice
1 c. plus 2 T. sugar, divided
1 1/2 T. cornstarch
1 3/4 c. heavy cream
1 3/4 c. whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. almond extract

Cut an X in bottom of each peach, then blanch in boiling water 15 seconds. Transfer with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to stop cooking. Peel peaches and cut in 1/2 inch pieces. (I'll be honest. I just peeled my peaches with a paring knife. Not much more time consuming than this whole process, I'm guessing.) Toss with lemon juice and 3/4 cup plus 2 T. sugar in a large bowl. Let macerate, covered and chilled, at least 8 hours. Whisk together cornstarch, 1/4 t. salt and remaining 1/4 c. sugar in a heavy medium saucepan. Add cream and milk and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Add to yolks in a slow stream, whisking constantly, to temper, then pour mixture back into saucepan. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, just until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 1-2 minutes (mixture will be thick). Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl and stir in extracts. Chill custard, its surface covered directly with plastic wrap (to prevent a skin from forming), until cold, at least 4 hours. Transfer 2 cups peaches with slotted spoon to a bowl. Puree remaining peaches and liquid in a blender until smooth. Add puree to custard and freeze in ice cream maker, then transfer to a bowl and stir in reserved peaches. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, about 2 hours.

1 comment:

  1. "But I've made this twice, now and I have yet to achieve a silky smooth texture. I'm blaming the cornstarch."

    Cornstarch is unnecessary, but it's doubtful cornstarch is contributing to the lack of a silky smooth texture.

    The first thing that jumps out from the recipe is equal parts cream and milk.
    The huge volume of peach juice(from maceration) will dilute the final effective butterfat percentage to to near or below 10%. Below 10% it legally can't even be called ice cream.

    Next time (fresh peaches are still in season) use all heavy cream and eliminate the milk.
    The resulting final butterfat will be in the Ben & Jerry's range.

    A creamy texture is somewhat compromised in homemade ice cream because of churning methods, churning time and most importantly because the final freezing is too slow. Ice cream plants blast freeze at 40 degrees below zero to achieve small crystals.

    Kick up to all cream and I think you will be pleased with the texture.