Monday, September 3, 2012

Homemade Peach Ice Cream

I totally love the ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer.  It does amazing things.

Like help me make peach ice cream.

This happens to be the ice cream I used when I made those mini buttermilk vanilla cupcakes for my uncle's birthday a couple weeks ago.  The recipe came from The Savannah Cookbook.

Now, I'm not an ice cream snob who's going to turn up my nose at the mere mention of store bought ice cream.  But this homemade stuff is pretty dang good, and if you have the time, it's worth making.

This first bit of the directions seemed counter-intuitive for me, for some reason.  You have to place just the top of a double boiler directly over the heat to scald 2 cups of whole milk almost to boiling (and a vanilla bean if you're using one - I don't think I've ever even seen vanilla beans sold at the store, so I just used three teaspoons of vanilla extract).  Then, off heat, stir in a cup of sugar until it's completely dissolved.

While you're stirring in your sugar, bring about an inch of water to a simmer in the bottom of the double boiler.  Beat six large egg yolks in a separate bowl, and carefully and slowly beat in about a cup of the hot milk mixture - very carefully, so you don't scramble your eggs.

Then place the top of the double boiler over the simmering water and put the top of the boiler over it.  Gradually stir the egg yolk mixture into the hot liquid and stir constantly.  Cook until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon and remove from the heat.  For all intents and purposes, you're making a vanilla custard.  I think I may not have let mine cook long enough at this point, but it still worked out in the end.

I transferred the mixture to a large mixing bowl with a pouring spout, then stirred in two cups of heavy cream and about a cup of pureed fresh peaches and a cup of roughly chopped peaches (to which you have added a bit of sugar to sweeten).  Stir until cooled, then refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight, before continuing to the next step.  If you've used a vanilla bean, remove it from the custard before you put it in the fridge (purportedly, you can rinse and dry vanilla beans for another use).  You could also add a pinch of nutmeg if you like, but I omitted that.

Yeah, I know that bottom picture doesn't look particularly appetizing.  But it smelled amazing.

After letting the custard cool completely, freeze it in an ice cream churn according to the manufacturer's instructions until it's the consistency of soft serve ice cream.  The directions for my ice cream maker attachment say not to add "mix-ins" like fruit until after the first fifteen minutes of churning is complete, so I didn't stir the chopped peaches into the custard before chilling.  I added them at the appropriate point in the churning cycle.  But go by the directions to your ice cream churn.

The custard never really set much in the churn. I'm not sure if I had too much liquid from the peaches or what.  But I poured it into a big plastic container and froze it for a day or so.  And it still turned out perfect.

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