I was in the grocery store last week, as one does, and I made the mistake of walking past the produce section. Silly me. On display: a row of beautiful eastern North Carolina peaches. At that moment, as the produce section spotlights cast an angelic haze over that row of peaches, I realized it’s stone fruit season! The rest of the details of that shopping trip are hazy, but I do know that I walked out of that store with 4 pounds of peaches and 2 pounds of sweet cherries. And if you’re curious, I went into the store for milk. Lol.
Peach Ice Cream DISCLAIMER
This recipe for peach ice cream makes about 1.5 quarts; involves a generous splash of bourbon and requires an ice cream maker and a fine mesh strainer. Once you make the first batch you will be hooked.
Peach Ice Cream is the most quintessential summer dessert. After I graduated from college, I worked in a public affairs office at Clemson and this was where I learned that the admin team is the most important team of any office. These women handled those executives and kept the morale high. How? In the summer, one of them would show up at the office with the ice cream churn and a ton of rock salt. Another one would have picked up a peck of peaches from their neighbor’s orchard. During lunch, they would sit in the conference room and put that ice cream together. Anyone visiting that office from the hours of 12-2, [and I literally mean anyone] they would be offered a cup of peach ice cream along with a healthy dose of southern hospitality. Unless you’re vegan or have food allergies– this was not an event to be missed.
Anyway, when I got home with my bounty, I immediately knew that I needed to turn these fresh peaches into homemade peach ice cream.
Ingredients to make peach ice cream
- Fresh Peaches (obviously)
- Lemon Juice
- Heavy Cream
- Whole Milk
- Egg yolks
- Vanilla extract
- Bourbon (optional)
Because we are making a custard based ice cream we need to carefully temper the eggs in the warmed up heavy cream to make sure that the egg yolks don’t turn into scrambled eggs. That’s complete buzzkill. How do you temper eggs? It’s really simple. The egg yolks are whisked together with some cold heavy cream. Then a slow stream of the warmed (but not too hot) cream is poured into the egg mixture, while the mixture is being stirred. Think about it this way, we have to slowly raise the temperature of the eggs and we need to do that gently.
This recipe requires an ice cream maker. I have the Cuisinart 2 Qt Ice Cream Maker. It’s very simple to use, as long as you remember the first rule of ice cream making: Put the ice cream bowl in the freezer 24 hours before you’re ready to use it. If you have the space, keep it in the freezer all of the time.
You will also need an airtight container for the finished ice cream. Most of the time I use a tupperware container, but you can buy containers specifically for ice cream. My favorite is this Tovolo container.
A fine mesh strainer, like this one, is the most important tool in your arsenal for making ice cream. After the eggs are tempered (see more about that below), the custard is cooked over medium heat until the custard thickens. If the custard heats too much or isn’t stirred enough, you can end up with some chunky custard solids. The mesh strainer helps eliminate the solids keeping the peach ice cream nice and smooth.
How to Temper Eggs
Because we are making a custard based ice cream we need to carefully temper the eggs in the warmed up heavy cream to make sure that the egg yolks don’t turn into scrambled eggs. That’s complete buzzkill. How do you temper eggs? It’s really simple. The egg yolks are whisked together with some cold heavy cream. Then a slow stream of the warmed (but not too hot) cream is poured into the egg mixture, while the mixture is being stirred. Think about it this way, we have to slowly raise the temperature of the eggs and we need to do that gently.Print
Peach Ice Cream
A classic southern summer peach ice cream.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Chill Time: 3 hours
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
- Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
- Category: Ice Cream
4 large peaches, peeled, chopped and divided
Lemon juice from ½ of medium lemon
2 tablespoons sugar
Splash of bourbon
1 ½ cups heavy cream, divided
1 ½ cup whole milk
4 large egg yolks
½ cup sugar
- Peel and core the peaches. Divide the peaches in half. Roughly chop one half of the peaches and set aside. Dice the second batch peaches– these will go in the custard base.
- Season the peaches. In a small bowl with a lid mix together the diced peaches, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of sugar and a splash of bourbon. Cover the peaches with the lid and refrigerate.
- Steep the peaches. In a medium pot, pour 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of whole and the roughly chopped peaches. Let this mixture come to a simmer (but not a boil!) over medium low heat. About 5-8 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once the milk reaches the summer stage, strain out peaches with a fine mesh strainer, Press the peaches firmly into the strainer with the back of the wooden spoon. Discard those peaches. Pour the milk back into the pot.
- Temper the egg yolks. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. In a slow stream, pour 1 cup of the warmed milk mixture into the measuring cup. Whisk the egg mixture every 10-15 seconds to make sure the eggs don’t scramble.
- Finish making the custard. Pour the egg mixture into the pot and return the heat to medium low. Let the mixture come to a simmer, but not a boil. The mixture will thicken and will coat the back of a wooden spoon when it’s done. About 5-8 minutes. Strain the custard with the fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl that has a lid. Whisk in the vanilla extract now.
- Chill the Custard. Fill a bowl larger than the bowl holding the custard with ice and water to about halfway full. Place the custard bowl in the ice bath. Whisk occasionally to help the custard cool. Once chilled place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the custard. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Churn. Follow the instructions on your ice cream maker to churn the custard base. When there is about 10 minutes left of the churn, pour in the diced peaches.
- Freeze. Scoop the ice cream out of the ice cream churn into a freezer safe container and freeze for a couple hours.
Keywords: Peach Ice Cream