I’m itching for September! September usually means a weekend getaway with my parents and my sister to the Okanagan and Similkameen for some wine tasting, a couple of decadent winery brunches and dinners, and, of course, a mandatory stop at the roadside produce stands in Keremeos to buy freshly harvested fruits and veggies. Peaches. I’m always after peaches.
Peaches are one of my favourite summertime fruits. They’re juicy, sweet, and oh so enjoyable on their own. They’re also rather versatile in the kitchen, making their way into salsas and sauces, jams and chutneys, and desserts. And then there’s the cuteness factor — how many fruits out there are soft and fuzzy?! Our trip this year is still a few weeks away, so in the meantime, I’ve been buying pounds and pounds of peaches from my local produce shop.
Peaches and cream are a classic flavour combination, and this simple ice cream recipe is intended to let those soft, delicate flavours shine — no caramelizing or grilling the fruit, no boozy additions, no nutty bits and pieces. (I’m saving all of that for next week!) If you are chilling the ice cream for more than a few hours, be sure to let it warm up and soften slightly before scooping and enjoying. That way, you’ll really taste the flavour of the peaches.
4 ripe peaches (or enough to yield 2 1/2 cups of puree)
Juice of one lemon
3/4 to 1 cup white sugar (depends on how sweet your peaches are; adjust to taste)
3 cups half-and-half cream
1 tsp vanilla
- Peel and pit the peaches. Place the peaches and the lemon juice into a blender and puree until smooth. You should have 2 1/2 cups of silky peach puree.
- In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar.
- Add 2 cups of the half-and-half cream.
- Cook the mixture over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
- Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining half-and-half to stop the cooking. Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.
- When cool, whisk in the peach puree and the vanilla.
- Chill overnight in the fridge.
- Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.