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Summer Means Peach Ice Cream

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When I was growing up, my family would make ice cream the old-fashioned way, with me freezing my tail as I sat on the ice cream maker while my parents and sisters would take turns cranking the handle. The flavor was always the same: peach. It was— and is—my dad’s favorite. It’s become one of mine, too, as the years have past and I have gotten my hands on fresh peaches, especially those from Fredericksburg.

I now have an electric ice cream maker that spins up a quart in about 20 minutes. And Fresh Peach Ice Cream is a perfect treat. Gild the lily some and put a scoop of this on top of a peach-blackberry cobbler or a strawberry-peach pie.

Fresh Peach Ice Cream

2 cups peeled and finely chopped ripe peaches
1/2 cup sugar, divided use
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream, divided use
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or hazelnut extract

Place the peaches in a large, heavy saucepan, Add 1/4 cup of the sugar and the corn syrup and place over medium heat. Stir until the sugar melts and the peaches are heated through, about 4 minutes. Pour into a large bowl and set aside. Add the half-and-half and 1/2 cup of the cream to the same saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat.

In a metal bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining sugar until blended. Form a kitchen towel into a ring and place the bowl on top to prevent it from moving. Gradually pour the hot half-and-half mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring slowly and continuously with a wooden spatula, until the custard thickens and leaves a path on the back of the spatula when a finger is drawn across it, about 5 minutes; do not allow to boil.

Pour the custard through a medium-mesh sieve into the peach mixture. Transfer three-fourths of the peach mixture to a food processor fitted with the metal blade or to a blender and purée until smooth. Pour the purée back into the remaining peach mixture. Add the vanilla and remaining 1/2 cup of cream and whisk to blend. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.

Transfer the peach mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a container; cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or for up to 3 days.

Makes about 5 cups.

From “Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library: Ice Creams & Sorbets”

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