The “base” of the ice cream comes from an Alton Brown recipe, which I’ve found is just great for adding just about any flavor that you would like. (This is a great strategy, BTW, if you’re still unsure about making your own recipes- look at a recipe that you like, strip it down to the basics, and experiment with the flavors. Try adding flavors that you’ve liked in other things- for example: I first saw the peach-ginger combo on a restaurant menu in creme brulee. I didn’t try it then, but the idea stuck with me, and I made my own peach ginger creme brulee. The combination of flavors just screams summer freshness, and can be used in countless ways.)
- 1.5 Cups half and half
- 1/2 Cup heavy cream
- 4 egg yolks*
- 4.5 oz. sugar
- 1/4-1/2 vanilla bean**
- 3 ripe peaches
- 1 Tbs. grated ginger
- Approx 3 Tbs. sugar
- Dash salt
- 1-2 Tsp. vodka***
In a medium heavy pot or saucier, heat the cream and half and half over medium heat until you can just see bubbles around the sides. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and put the pod and seeds in the dairy while it is warming. While this is heating, beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl (this is a great job for one of those batter bowls with the spout, if you have one) until lightened in color, then add the sugar slowly while beating.
When the dairy mixture is hot, reduce heat to low and temper it into the eggs by slowly adding small amounts while whisking, until about half of the dairy has been added. Then, while whisking in the pot (this is where a saucier is really handy, if you have one), add the egg mixture into the pot.
Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture coats the back of a spoon and is about 170-175 degrees.
While this is cooking (don’t forget to keep stirring!), peel the peaches, remove the pits, and cut into 8 pieces. Put in blender with 3 Tbs of sugar and ginger. Pulse or chop in blender until mostly processed, but very small pieces still remain (I use my blender’s “salsa” function.). Pour into a bowl and add salt and vodka. Taste, add more sugar if needed (should be quite sweet, sweetness doesn’t come through as well when it is frozen).
Remove vanilla bean pod from custard and mix with peaches. Chill in refridgerator until cold, approximately 4 hours. (to speed this up some, put the mixture in a medium heavy bowl, fill a large bowl half way with ice and water, place the bowl with the mixture in the ice bath and place the whole thing in the fridge, stir frequently.
Process in ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.
* Don’t throw away left over whites- Freeze them in ice cube trays (mine take 2 cubes for each white) and then put them in Ziploc bags. They thaw quickly for any whites only project down the line. (This does not, by the way, work for yolks, which dry out and turn funny).
** I use Mexican vanilla beans from Pensey’s, which are fabulous. 1/4 of a bean is plenty of flavor for this recipe. But, if you’re using beans from the grocery store (by the way, don’t do that), you may need a 1/2 or even a whole bean to get the same flavor. You could probably use vanila extract here, too, since the peaches are really the star, if you don’t want to fuss with the beans, but I love them.
*** I just about always add a little bit of alcohol to my homemade ice cream, because it helps it not to set up quite as hard. It’s particularly helpful to add it directly to fruit, because it keeps it from getting hard and icy.
Filed under: My recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged: Alton Brown, Dessert, Food, Summer, What I'm Eating | 3 Comments »