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 a this twist on peaches and cream — here in ice cream form.
There’s so much 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 teh 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 creme fraiche.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 Cream Ice Cream, here are a few tips to make sure it's pure magic!
(about 6), pitted and coarsely chopped
split and seeds scraped out (can use 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
or sour cream
To 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.
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.
To Make The Peach Ice Cream Base: 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.
To Process The 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 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.
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