08 July 2010

Peach Ice Cream

I look forward to taking out my ice cream maker every summer.  It's small and has zero frills, no salt, just a paddle, a small motor, and a glorified ice pack as a bowl.  I keep the bowl wrapped in plastic bags in our chest freezer all year long, so it is always ready to make ice cream.  It makes the best ice cream from chilled custard and only takes a few minutes to churn it into smooth, soft serve ice cream.  If I want it more like store bought, I just place the bowl with the soft ice cream into our freezer for a few hours.  And there really isn't any ice cream better than homemade.  I've been making it a lot the past couple of weeks!  The best chocolate ice cream is from joyofbaking.com.  It's thick, rich, super chocolaty, and tastes a lot like gelato.  YUMMY.  But my favorite homemade ice cream is peach.  So delicate.  It's not very sweet, so the peach and vanilla really shines through. It's so amazing right out of the ice cream maker, but the flavors mature in the freezer overnight and it's even better the next day. 

You will need:

ice cream maker
1 cup milk (I use skim, but whole is better!)
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups heavy cream (no substitutions on this one)
1/2 cup pureed peaches (more on this later)
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract

This recipe for peach ice cream makes about 6 servings.  I have this ice cream maker, but I found it at our local Wally Mart for $20 about four summers ago. I've never had even one issue with it and, although I may covet this ice cream maker, my little guy is just perfect for our family of four.  Everyone has a serving of fresh churned ice cream for dessert and there are two servings leftover for Mama to eat alone while watching General Hospital the next day.  :)

I've found that the best homemade ice cream starts with a custard.  Don't be intimidated!  Custard is easy to make.  It just requires a little bit of patience and a bit of stirring.    About the peaches...you can use fresh, frozen, or canned.  If you use canned, drain them first.  You'll end up with a bit more than 1/2 cup of puree, but throw it all in.  You'll be tempted, when using frozen or fresh, to leave nice, big, yummy-looking chunks of peach.  Don't.  When it freezes the chunks will be too hard to eat.  You don't have to get the peaches completely smooth, of course, but just make sure all your pieces are smaller than half a green pea. 

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the milk (but not the cream) over medium low heat until hot and just starting to froth.  Do not let it boil.  Then stir in the salt and sugar until dissolved.

Pour 1/4 of the hot milk mixture into the beaten egg to temper the egg.  You don't want pieces of scrambled, cooked egg in your ice cream! 

Mix constantly and then add the egg mixture to the rest of the milk and continue to mix constantly. 

Continue to cook and stir (constantly) for 10-12 minutes over medium low heat or until the mixture coats the back of a metal spoon without dripping off. 

Pour the custard into a metal bowl and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.  It needs to be really cold.

In a bowl or large measuring cup, combine the heavy cream, peaches, vanilla, and almond extract. 

Add to the custard and mix thoroughly.

Then pour into your ice cream machine.  Follow the directions for your machine.  Mine calls for attaching the paddle, securing the top, and turning to on.  That's it.

Now you wait for this to happen...

It doesn't take very long.  Maybe 20 minutes.  My machine says to listen for the motor to stop spinning the paddle and turn off.  We all stand around the kitchen waiting and rubbing our hands together in gleeful anticipation.  No chance of the motor stopping and burning itself up!  When I lift off the top the paddle comes with it and I always think, I should just stand over the sink and link that clean.  But I beat down my inner-Gollum and don't run off with my precious.  Because I love my family and want to share with them.  :)

Serve immediately or wait, if you can.  Right out of the machine the peach ice cream is soft, creamy, fluffy, and light.  Unbelievably delicious!

Dessert dish courtesy of my buddy PMP.  Thank you, chica!!  The ice cream looks beautiful in it's special dish.

Again, freeze it for a few hours if you prefer a thicker, hardier ice cream texture.  But just look how extraordinary it looks straight from the machine.  I could swim in it!

The picture of summertime. Enjoy!!

1 comment:

Shari Sunday said...

You have inspired me to go to Walmart and find an inexpensive ice cream maker like yours. I remember homemade peach ice cream from my childhood. Store bought is always disappointing. The recipe sounds familiar, too, though I remember my mother using some evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed).