In grade 11 I took this random (read: marks not important) class called Food Art. I knew I liked baking cookies and enjoyed the cooking section of Home Ec in grade 8, but I didn’t think too much of it other than I want a class where I don’t have to study for anything. Clever, yeah?
Food Art left a lasting impression, and it definitely pointed me further in the direction of food-loving. I learned how to make choux pastry (i.e. cream puffs), which I made constantly for a month after the class finished because my aunt requested them daily, and I had fun piping random shapes and watching them puff up.
My fondest memory of Food Art definitely comes from the ice cream class. Oh, the ice cream that we made! My little group of four got to pick two recipes, and somehow we picked the custard-based ones for both of them – chocolate, and peach. I think ours were the only custard-based ones in the class, and I remember waiting after school for the ice cream maker to churn because the process took so much longer than the non-custards. When we were finally done, we dipped our spoons in the mixture and licked them clean…and it was a serious revelation. I had never tasted ice cream that good, not even with all the fancy Haagen Dazs that my uncle was addicted to. The flavours were so pure – it was straight up chocolate, or straight up peach. Nothing fussy about them, and they tasted so right.
Since then, I’ve dreamt about having my own ice cream maker and churning out the same delicious peach ice cream.
Then I got one for my birthday this year! A KitchenAid mixer attachment to save space, but works well enough for me.
I also purchased Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments by David Lebovitz right after I got my ice cream maker, and have been trying some recipes from there.
After a few tries and reading up on other bloggers’ ice cream experiences, I’ve noticed that the balance between eggs/cream/milk is definitely flexible. While David’s chocolate ice cream recipe had everyone begging for more (it’s a must-have for any ice cream recipe repetoire), for this peach one, I went with my gut instincts and modified the recipe to my liking.
I knew I wanted a custard-based ice cream because I remembered it was a custard when we made in it grade 11. No other good reason, really. Custard-based just means that eggs, milk, and cream are cooked together into a custard along with whatever else (i.e. melted chocolate, peaches, etc.), and it has that distinctive dairy and creamy taste.
Enough with the praises for peach ice cream and on with the recipe:
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 4 large peaches, peeled and smushed
- 1 tbsp vodka (optional)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- juice from 1/4 of a large lemon
- Toss the peaches, 1/4 cup sugar, and lemon juice together in a non-reactive pan and cook over medium heat until just starting to boil. Stir quickly and don’t let it get to a hard boil, and simmer for about 3 minutes or so until you want to bury your face in the deliciousness emitting from the pot. Remove from heat and let sit while you move on to the other steps. Add in the vodka while it’s chilling, but not when it’s boiling. I like to smush my peaches while preserving the juice in the bowl, so that I would still have chunky peaches in the ice cream. Alternatively, you could run it through a food processor before mixing into the ice cream if you don’t want chunks.
- Pour the cream into a bowl, and set a fine sieve on top of the bowl. Put this bowl in a cold water bath with ice cubes, if you have them handy.
- Whisk together the egg yolks in a bowl with room to spare (i.e. can hold another cup or so of liquid).
- In a medium-sized pot, warm the milk, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla just until steam begins rising from the milk.
- Remove the milk from heat and slowly, tablespoon-by-tablespoon, add into the egg yolk mixture, whisking it lightly as you go along, to prevent cooking the egg yolks. You just need to add about half of the milk into the egg yolks to “temper” the mixture.
- Dump the egg yolks mixture back into the pot. Return to heat, and stir and watch carefully. Scraping the bottom so nothing sticks, cook until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. When you run your finger along the back of the spoon, the coat of custard should separate neatly.
- Remove pot from heat at once, and pour over the sieve into the chilled cream. This stops the custard from cooking.
- Clean and dry the sieve, and pour the peach mixture through it. You should get between 1 – 1 1/2 cups of peaches, plus some liquid (delicious!). Add the drained peaches to your cream mixture, and about 1/2 cup of the liquid. Save the rest of the liquid for drinking…I love it!
- Cover with cling film and chill in fridge overnight. This helps develop the flavour, while also chilling the mixture thoroughly for the ice cream maker.
- Churn in ice cream maker per the manufacturer’s instructions.
There you are…a little bit of summer in your freezer :)