Midsummer means peaches are in season, and, when peaches are in season, we’re all about them in every meal and every moment. Be it in our morning granola, whirred into a refreshing cream soda, tucked into this twist on panzanella salads, and, as this twist on Peaches and Crème Fraîche Ice Cream recipe.
There’s so much to talk about a Georgia peach but as Californians, we’re very much partial to the local California peaches. Particularly when they show up on our front stoop delicately packed and perfectly ripe thanks to Farmer Al and the ever-generous folks over at Frog Hollow Farm.
It’s hard to get better than eating them as is with the juice dripping down our chins but we manage to use them every which way. But one of our favorites is this recipe that combines ripe peaches, vanilla, and crème fraîche. The flavor combination is something we imagine having as the cap to a lazy summer lunch in the South of France but we came up with it right here in California.
The ingredients are few but the techniques used here — mainly macerating the fruit — makes for some of the best ice cream we dare say we’ve ever had. We could say more but really we should stop typing and you should just get to making this recipe!
Tips For Making Peach Ice Cream
Before you dive into making this Peaches and Crème Fraîche Ice Cream recipe, here are a few tips to make sure it’s pure magic!
- Use Very Ripe Peaches: This is not a time to just use any old peach! Ideally, you’d use farm-fresh peaches that are very ripe and full of flavor.
- Macerate For Flavor: Even if you have the best peaches you’ve ever had on planet earth, you’ll still want to make sure to macerate them for hours and hours. This step helps to ensure the final ice cream has maximum peach flavor!
- Vodka For Better Texture: You may have come across vodka in pie dough recipes as a means to prevent the dough from getting tough, but vodka in ice cream is a little less common. We add it to recipes that have a lot of sugar and liquidy bits (like the macerated peaches here) so that the ice cream doesn’t freeze too solid.
- Flavor As Desired: We’re really into the flavor combination of sweet peaches, tangy crème fraîche, and spicy ginger, but we get that it’s not for everyone. A few other flavor options that would be delicious in this ice cream would be to add a ribbon of strawberry, orange, or raspberry jam; throw in a few handfuls of toasted pecans; mix in a few spoonfuls of white chocolate chips; or add a couple of shots of Chambord and a pint of fresh raspberries, to name a few. No matter what you choose, add it at the same time as the ginger so it just mixes in at the end of the ice cream churning.
Crème Fraîche And Peach Ice Cream Recipe
- 2 pounds firm ripe peaches (about 6), pitted and coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 vanilla bean split and seeds scraped out (can use 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
- 1 cup (8 ounces) crème fraîche or sour cream
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 2 tablespoons vodka
- 1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
- Macerate The Peaches: Combine peaches, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in a bowl. Set aside to macerate for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.
- Make The Peach Ice Cream Base: Pour macerated mixture into a food processor fitted with a blade, add purée with crème fraîche until smooth. Pour into a large bowl, whisk in the half and half and vodka.
- Process The Peach Ice Cream: 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 The Peach Ice Cream: 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.