Week 34 - Peach Ice Cream
I recenty bought a bunch of fresh peaches at our local farm stand. Since they were getting riper faster than we could eat them I decided to use some to make peach ice cream I chose the recipe for "Fresh Georgia Peach", from the 1987 cookbook "Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book".
This book is great and contains recipes for many of the Ben & Jerry's flavors you can find in the store, along with some recipes for baked goods like brownies and cookies. The book itself is liberally illustrated with fun and bright illustrations. I've tried their recipe for Cherry Garcia and while it didn't taste exactly like the store-bought version, it was still delicious.
I'm a huge fan of ice cream. I have a small collection of vintage ice cream paraphernalia and have made homemade quite a few times. In the last few years I haven't been making it as much and we've been just buying ice cream at the store or at local ice cream stands. Most recently, Chris and I have started to explore ice cream locations on Rt. 3 in New Hampshire.
Like most ice cream recipes, the ingredients are very simple. Just milk, cream, sugar and flavoring. Many of the recipes in this book call for raw egg, including this one. This is meant to improve the texture of the ice cream and keep ice crystals from forming but the thought of eating raw egg makes me nervous, so I decided to leave it out. The first step was to chop the peaches and let them macerate in a mixture of sugar and lemon juice for a few hours. Once that was done, I drained the juice and set the peaches aside.
I added a mixture of milk and cream to the peach juice and put it into my ice cream maker to freeze. When I was growing up we had the ice cream maker that required rock salt and ice to help with the freezing process. I always enjoyed churning the ice cream so when I bought one for myself, I opted for a hand crank machine rather than an automatic one. Mine doesn't require salt and ice but rather has a metal liner that is placed in the freezer before use.
I poured the chilled mixture into the liner and then cranked the handle every few minutes to mix the ice cream. Right before the mixture was fully hardened, I added the chopped peach pieces. I like this method as doesn't allow the peach chunks to fully harden which can ruin the texture.
Once the ice cream was done I put it in the freezer to stiffen up a bit more before freezing. The book does say that you do not need to add eggs, but that it should be eaten that day for best results. I find that the it can form ice crystals if kept in the freezer for too long and I did not want that to happen. Since there are only two of us, I cut the batch in half to make two generous servings we could finish in one sitting.
I was impatient to eat the ice cream so we took it out of the freezer a bit too early. As a result it was pretty soft and started to melt almost immediately. Despite that, the final result was delicious and creamy. The lemon juice added a brightness and helped cut the sweetness. The flavor of the peaches came through just right and the the bits of peaches were still juicy and fresh tasting. I would make this again but may try some of the other recipes in the book first.
Cookbook: "Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book" by Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield with Nancy J. Stevens and illustrated by Lyn Severance, published in 1987
Recipe: Fresh Georgia Peach Ice Cream
Alterations: I left out the raw egg and halved the recipe
Results: Very good, but I should have let it freeze a bit longer
Make Again: Yes, but I would first like to try some of the other recipes in this book first.