Summer brings many a blessed thing—firefly nights, freshly caught shrimp, and, especially, perfectly ripe peaches. And while a chin-soaking bite of a just-picked peach is hard to top, nothing cools down a sultry day better than homemade peach ice cream. This version nods slightly to modern-day cooking; instead of being poured straight into the ice-cream mixing canister, the custard base is cooked to safely heat the eggs, then cooled. Simmering the peach pits in milk extracts an extra layer of sweetness, underpinned with almond tones. Creamy goat cheese might seem like a curious addition, but it supplies a slightly savory, grassy element, reminiscent of the fresh milk our grandparents would have used. If you prefer whole chunks of fruit in your ice cream, puree only half of the macerated peaches. Then pour it all into an ice-cream maker and let the anticipation begin.
Food & Drink
Peach Ice Cream
A tasty hallmark of summer in the South
photo: Peter Frank Edwards
2 ripe peaches, peeled and finely chopped (about 2 cups), pits reserved
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
About 1/2 (3-ounce) log goat cheese, such as Alabama-made Belle Chevre, crumbled
In a medium saucepan, heat the peach pits, milk, and cream over medium heat until steaming. Remove from the heat, cover, and steep for about 1 hour.
In a medium bowl, combine the peaches, lemon juice, and brown sugar. Let sit for 1 hour. In a blender or using an immersion blender, puree the peaches and any juices that have collected in the bowl. Set aside.
Remove the peach pits from the milk mixture and discard them. Add the sugar to the saucepan with the milk mixture and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is steaming, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
While the milk mixture heats, whisk the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt in a bowl until smooth. Temper the egg yolks: Slowly whisk ½ cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the tempered yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the milk mixture and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes.
Put the cheese in a large bowl. Pour the custard over the cheese and gently whisk until the cheese melts and the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the peach puree. Let the custard cool for 15 minutes over an ice-water bath, stirring frequently. Cover with plastic wrap (pressing it directly onto the surface of the custard so it doesn’t form a skin) and place in the refrigerator to chill completely, about 4 hours.
Transfer the chilled custard to an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Serve.
Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
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