Monday, August 1, 2011

Against the Odds: White Peaches and Cream Ice Cream

About five years ago I decided to buy an ice cream freezer of this century. For years we had been using one that had been given to us by a relative who had probably inherited it from Julius Caesar. Since we never seemed to have rock salt or enough ice, I decided to buy a Krups with the kind of bowl you stick in the freezer. As usual with most of these one purpose gadgets, I used it only once or twice then quickly forgot about it as it got pushed into the back of the cupboard.

About a week ago, some lovely white peaches hit the store shelves. Since I love peaches, and especially the delicate sweetness of white peaches, I thought I’d make some ice cream. I dug out my flashlight and knee pads and went on a quest to find my long forgotten freezer. Without too many surprises, I managed to find it and all of its parts. I was in business until I discovered that some sort of corrosive substance inside of the bowl had eaten a pin hole through the aluminum and was now leaking pretty much everywhere.

Since I hated to waste the other components that were still in good working order, I decided to buy a replacement. Well, you probably guessed it, the replacement bowl was really expensive, so I decided to go with Plan B and just buy a new one. To make a very long story short, the next thing I knew I was standing in line in Bed Bath and Beyond with an $80.00 Kitchen Aid attachment in my basket and a year old 20% off coupon in my hand. This was the perfect solution until the young woman in front of me told me how much she hated hers. Since I was on the fence about buying a new one anyway, I put it back and just went home.

Back at the ranch, I was faced with 6 very ripe peaches and half an ice cream maker, and decided that I might not need one at all. I mean I’m a good cook and maybe this is an opportunity for an experiment. This shouldn’t rattle me so I decided that I’d try an alternative method and who knows, I might just turn out to be the cosmic gift to all those out there without a freezer of their own.


I’ve seen lots of ice cream recipes where it is frozen and simply stirred every 30 minutes or so until it is set, so I thought I’d give this method a try. I figured that I would use my electric mixer and give the mixture a good whipping at regular intervals which I must admit took me pretty much all day.

The verdict was that while the ice cream tasted delicious, there's no denying that the consistency could have been improved by the constant movement of an electric ice cream maker. So, I guess it’s back to Bed Bath and Beyond for that Kitchen Aid attachment afterall. Now, if I can only figure out where I put that coupon . . .


White Peaches and Cream Ice Cream

Since I think that cooked custard style ice cream bases have a strong flavor which would probably overpower the delicate white peaches, I decided to make a milder tasting Philadelphia style base which uses no eggs.

4 cups (about 5 - 6 medium size) fresh or frozen peaches, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 – 1/8 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

In a large bowl, combine the peaches, lemon juice, sugar and salt; cover and set aside on the countertop for an hour.

After an hour, stir the peach mixture and taste a bit of the syrup to make sure that all of the sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer peaches to a food processor. Add the milk, cream and the vanilla and almond extracts and process for 5 – 10 seconds to purify some of the peaches. There will be some larger pieces but don’t worry, this is the desired consistency.

Pour mixture into the bowl of an ice cream freezer and freeze until it is thick and creamy. Transfer to a container with a tight fitting lid, transfer to your household freezer and continue to freeze until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately or store in freezer up to a week.

Yield 8 cups.
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