When I was a little girl I used to spend chunks of the summer on my aunts’ farms in Central Illinois. One of them had three peach trees in the yard. In my taste memory they were the best peaches I have ever eaten. Peaches are my favorite summer fruit. I remember picking the fruit from the low-hanging branches and eating them out of hand after a quick wash at the pump. Sometimes I’d help Aunt June make a cobbler or pie, but most often we’d have them for dessert as a topping for her delicious vanilla ice cream.
These days the organic Jersey peaches from Oak Grove Plantation in Pittstown, NJ remind me of those great peaches on the farm, and Fresh Peach Ice Cream combines two of my favorite foods. This recipe is different because it does not call for a cooked custard.
My smarty-pants trick for the peachy-est tasting ice cream is to take the time to macerate the peaches in lemon juice before you make the ice cream. —ChefJune
1 1/2 quarts
very ripe large Freestone peaches (about 2 cups when broken up)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
organic cane sugar
freshly grated nutmeg
fine sea salt
pure Vanilla extract (I use Nielsen-Massey)
Blanch peaches (about 30 seconds) in a large pot of boiling water. Transfer to a colander to drain. (This will make the skins slip off easily.) Peel and halve the peaches. Remove and discard the pits.
In a bowl, crush peaches with your hands until no large clumps remain. Don't purée the fruit! Combine the peaches with 1/2 cup of sugar, nutmeg and lemon juice in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours, stirring every half hour or so.
Remove peaches from refrigerator. Drain the juice into another bowl and save it. Put the peaches back in the fridge.
Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until they are light and fluffy, then add salt and vanilla. Whisk in the remaining 3/4 cup sugar a little at a time, then whisk the whole mixture for 2 minutes more.
Add the milk and cream to the egg mixture and whisk to blend well. Add the peach juice and blend well.
Freeze according to the directions with your ice cream freezer. About 2 minutes before the ice cream is done (mixture will be quite stiff) add the peaches. Continue freezing until ice cream is finished. Remove from freezer bowl and allow to season in the freezer for a couple of hours before serving.