That’s why we wake up at odd hours of the morning to start marinating something delicious and dead, or stay up late to get those damned little silvery ball things to look just right on top of your red velvet cupcakes (spoiler: they’ll never look right, because it’s 2014 and red velvet cupcakes are tired as hell). We do it because we love cooking, because we’ve had it in our blood since grandma’s grandma’s grandma made soup for some poor saps in the Crimean War, because one day we dream of owning a cupcake shop that famous people talk about on twitter or instagram or whatever the hell famous people use to talk about cupcakes.
Or we’re all just liars, which is exactly what I think.
I think all that lovely Hallmark channel crap up there isn’t the deep motivation for all things chef-ly we feel in our “hearts”; I think it’s the stories we tell each other (and ourselves) as a soothing balm for the truth: we do it because we like having our egos stroked. Sure, we’ll semi-consciously hear you tell us how good our stuff is and “aw, shucks” our way around the kitchen table while you do it. But deep down all we’re thinking is “yeah, you’re damn right that pie is the most delicious thing you’ve ever had, SAY IT AGAIN” on loop.
Sorry to burst your no doubt frosting-coated bubble, but we don’t do it to feed you. We do it to feed us. Making something people like is easy. 9 times out of 10 you make something with sugar and bacon in it, and they’ll flock to it like it’s a pork-filled baseball stadium being summoned to the earth by James Earl Jones (that’s roughly what Field of Dreams is about, right?). But getting those elusive, tasty morsels of self-satisfying praise? The egotistical equivalent of roasted pork belly and chocolate cake?
That’s why we really do it. And anyone who says otherwise is a liar, to put it in Princess Bride terms.
First, slice up the peaches (make sure you keep the skin on) and throw them in a bowl with a 1/2 cup of sugar. Toss them around a bit so the sugar covers the peaches, then cover the bowl and leave them to macerate (that’s a fancy word for “sit there covered in sugar”) for an hour. Puree them once they’ve had time to get sugary.
While the peaches are getting tastier, fill a large bowl full of ice, pour a cup of the heavy cream into a smaller bowl, and put the small bowl on the ice to chill.
Stir the milk, the rest of the sugar, salt, and the rest of the cream together in a medium pot on medium heat. Let it get just hot enough to start steaming, then take it off heat.
Whisk together the egg yolks in a small bowl and slowly whisk in the heated cream stuff. You wanna be whisking like a madman this whole time, because you’re going to end up with some scrambled eggs if you don’t. Scrambled eggs in ice cream are gross. I checked.
Pour the whole thing back into your pot and put it back on medium-low heat, again making sure it’s not boiling. Stir it for about 10 minutes, until you can run your finger down the back of the spoon and leave a visible trail. If it’s not thick enough, cook it for longer.
Strain the creamy stuff into the bowl of chilled cream, then puree the peaches and stir them in with the vanilla. Keep stirring until it cools down to room temperature, then chill it overnight in your fridge.
For the crumble, preheat your oven to 400. Make sure you do this ahead of time; you want the crumblies to be nice and cool when you mix them into the ice cream.
Throw all the ingredients into a bowl and mash them together with a pastry cutter until they’re formed into roughly pebble-sized bits, which is possibly the worst food-related analogy I could think of.
Spread the crumble around on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for around 30 minutes, until they’re…well, crumbly. What were you expecting, a wedding cake?
Throw the ice cream into your ice cream maker, and add the crumblies and the Lillet. Churn until it’s ice cream, then freeze until it’s even ice creamier. Then eat it.