There’s so much talk about a Georgia peach but I’m partial to Californian peaches. Particularly when they show up on my front stoop so delicately packed. Thanks to Farmer Al and the ever-generous folks over at Frog Hollow Farm, I had some perfectly ripe peaches to enjoy. You know, to enjoy by snacking on them and having the juices drip down my chin. And to top my morning yogurt and granola, and to add a seasonal dimension to my panzanella salads. And to make my twist on peaches and cream — in ice cream form. I’d say more but really I should stop typing and you should just get to making this recipe.
(about 6), pitted and coarsely chopped
split and seeds scraped out (can use 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
Combine peaches, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt and set aside to macerate for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.
The thing about peach ice cream is that many of them don’t taste like peaches. But here I macerated the peaches for hours and hours (thanks to Lisa’s advice) and then pureed them with some tangy, sour creme fraiche. If you want it richer, use whole milk instead of half-and-half, but if you want it tangier and more sherbet-like, use buttermilk.
Pour macerated mixture into a food processor fitted with a blade, add puree with crème fraîche until smooth. Pour into a large bowl, whisk in the half and half and vodka.
Crème fraîche is a tangy, thick cream that is tangier than US sour cream. If you can’t find it, it’s super easy to make your own.
Chill until thoroughly chilled, at least 4 hours, then freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions, add the crystallized ginger during the last few minutes of churning. Serve as soft serve or transfer into airtight containers and freeze until thoroughly frozen, about 2 to 4 hours. Serve as is or topped with your favorite ice cream toppings.
Crystallized (aka candided) ginger is becoming more widely available and can be found in the baking aisle of some grocery stores. If you can’t find it, you can also make your own.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp