caramelized peach ice cream

i absolutely adore peaches. they're up at the top, hanging out with fresh picked strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, as my favorite fruit. heck, i love them so much i dedicated a week to them last year and two years ago i picked and canned twenty-something quarts of them and enjoyed peaches with yogurt for breakfast all through the dead of winter. i've shared other peach specific memories with you, but where there's one, there's always more.

in high school, during peach season, it was a well known fact that a bowl of ripe, juicy, sweet peaches was sitting in our refrigerator. one particular summer night, after a long day of gossip and lounging by the pool, two friends and i sat down to the last three bowls of peaches. one of us - not me - made the mistake of getting up from her bowl and using the bathroom. while she was gone, the two of us scarfed up all of her peaches and all of our own, leaving not a single crumb, not even a hint of peach juice for her. why exactly, i don't know. while the two of us giggled, she was downright mad. ah, to be 16 again. if only our biggest problems were our best friends eating our fruit when our back is turned.

caramelized peach ice cream
adapted from david lebovitz's raspberry ice cream in the perfect scoop

for the peaches
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups sliced peaches
1 tablespoon sugar

for the ice cream
1 1/2 cups half & half
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
  1. melt the butter in a saute pan over medium low heat. toss the peach slices with the sugar and cook until the peaches are soft, about five minutes. depending on the texture you want, crush the peaches with a fork or process in a food processor. cool to room temperature.
  2. in a sauce pan, heat the half & half and sugar over medium low heat until the sugar dissolves.
  3. while the half & half and sugar are heating, place the heavy cream in the bottom of a bowl. place a strainer above it. in a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
  4. when the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat. pour a small amount (about 1/4 cup) of the mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. when incorporated, whisk in the remaining sugar mixture.pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
  5. heat the custard over medium low heat, whisking constantly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. be careful here - don't let it go too long or you'll have a pan of scrambled eggs.
  6. remove from the heat and pour through the strainer into the heavy cream. stir to incorporate.
  7. add the peaches and mix thoroughly.
  8. chill overnight (or a few hours) and churn according to your ice cream maker. david has great instructions for making ice cream if you don't have an ice cream maker.


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