Thursday, October 1, 2009
Just Peachy: Fresh Peach Ice Cream
Another one at the top of my list is the peach. I just love a good peach -- the gorgeous color, reminiscent of autumn sunsets, the miraculously fuzzy skin, the tender flesh. And that deliciously floral aroma -- oh, gosh, I could just faint with pleasure.
OK, so maybe I'm going a little bit overboard. But, the truth is, a good peach is a valuable commodity. And a good fresh peach icecream... well, that's just downright swoon-worthy. And it's so seriously simple that it doesn't even require a recipe.
Peach season comes a little late to us here in Wisconsin (and yes, we do grow peaches here, strange as that might seem). Door County peaches first started showing hints of ripeness in late August, and we picked up these dandies at the farmer's market in mid-September.
It was a fantastic, sunny Saturday morning and we decided to put together the ice cream base before heading off to do our weekend errands. We blanched and peeled the peaches -- four large ones that seemed to have particular potential.
And then we pitted them -- which took little effort at all, since they were so wonderfully ripe.
I really couldn't get over how gorgeous they were. Their perfume infiltrated the entire kitchen, and I was taken back -- back to the days when my mother would buy cases of peaches from one of the local markets, and bring them home for canning. She sat near the stove -- blanching and peeling and chopping for hours. She sterilized her glass jars, and cooked the peaches in their sugar syrup. Some she canned simply, in halves; we'd eat those for breakfast on Saturday mornings with our pancakes, or in the pies she baked especially for my father.
And others -- the extra-particularly-stellar ones, I'm quite sure -- she'd make into peach jam. Sugary sweet, their perfume redolent with cinnamon and nutmeg... that jam was my favorite. I ate it with relish on toast and English muffins, and prayed it would make an appearance in my lunch box on a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. Mmm.
Eventually I got back to the matter at hand -- which was the making of ice cream. I chopped the peaches, and cooked them with a splash of water and about 3/4 cup of sugar just until they were tender.
And then we whirred them up in the blender with a cup of cream, a dash of vanilla, and about 1/2 cup sour cream -- until the mixture was perfectly homogenized and, well, just peachy.
The mixture went back into the fridge for a few hours to chill, and we went about our errands. When we got back home, we fired up the ice cream maker and poured the peach cream inside. It whorled and whorled -- and the amount of air the machine was able to pump into the cream was simply incredible. The resulting ice cream was just fantastic -- light and airy and wonderful.
I got inspired to add a bit of maple cashew granola to the mix, so we layered it in between scoops of the peach ice cream.
It made gorgeous cones. The whipped peach ice cream was fresh and creamy. And the granola gave a toothy bite to things that made it feel, well... nourishing.
I could have eaten this ice cream for breakfast ... or lunch or dinner, really. But, who's keeping track??
This post is part of the Peaches & Cream Five Star Makeover Round-up.
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Labels: ice cream