Homemade peach ice cream is just one of those recipes that can take a little Southern girl right back to her childhood. I clearly remember buying peaches every summer at a little produce stand in Grey, Georgia, on the way back and forth from south Georgia to my grandparents house in Stone Mountain. Everyone looked forward to the start of peach season because there is absolutely no comparison at all between a fresh peach and a canned one. They don’t even taste like the same fruit to me. That’s why I say that if you don’t have fresh peaches, don’t even bother making ice cream! Just use the canned ones for something else.
When I was a child making homemade ice cream involved a lot more work than it does now. Our ice cream maker was the old hand-cranked type. Mama would fill the canister with a luscious creamy ice cream mixture, pack the ice and salt around and put us to work turning the handle. It was hard to keep the churn from moving around while you worked, so we put a towel over the top and took turns – one cranking and one sitting on the top of the churn to keep it from jumping all over the place. It was fun until the ice cream really starting freezing and the handle got harder and harder to turn :-)
Peach season is getting underway right now here in Georgia. I saw some of the first crop last Saturday at a local produce stand and I quickly grabbed enough to make some of this delicious homemade peach ice cream for our Memorial Day menu. There are dozens of different ice cream recipes. Some are cooked. Some aren’t. This is one of the cooked ones. In this particular recipe, the cooking is really just to make the eggs safe. It’s a little more work, but ice cream recipes with eggs are usually much richer than uncooked ones. Although, my Mama has a recipe that isn’t cooked and is really delicious. I’ve got to remember to ask her for that one!
You’ll start your peach ice cream by peeling and slicing enough fresh peaches to make four cups. It usually takes about 8 good sized fresh peaches. Combine the peach slices with 1 cup of sugar and let the mixture stand at room temperature for several hours until the peaches have softened and rendered a good amount of liquid. Mash or puree the peaches using either a potato masher or a blender and set them aside.
Combine the remaining sugar with the flour, salt and beaten eggs. Cook this very slowly over low heat until it begins to thicken slightly. From the voice of experience: You really have to cook this very slowly or you’ll scramble the eggs. You’ll know you’ve gone too far if you start to see little brown flecks in the mixture. If that happens, take the pan off the heat immediately and strain the mixture through a fine meshed strainer. It’ll be okay. Trust me. I know from experience :-)
Pour the cooked mixture into a large bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature.
When cool, add the whipping cream and vanilla. Whisk together to lighten the egg mixture.
Then stir in the milk and pureed or mashed peaches. Place in refrigerator until thoroughly chilled, several hours or overnight.
Pour into ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is finished churning it will be very soft. You can serve it straight from the churn or transfer it to a container and place it in the freezer until it becomes firm. Good either way! Makes about 1 gallon.
—Adapted from a recipe originally found on www.cooks.com
Other peach ice cream recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:
- Brandied Peach Ice Cream on BunkyCooks
- Honey Peach Ice Cream from Karen Bove’s Our Life in the Kitchen
- Homesick Texan’s Peach Ice Cream
- Georgia Peach Homemade Ice Cream from All Recipes
- Alton Brown’s Burned Peach Ice Cream