When it's smoldering hot outside, the kind of hot that makes sweat beads pop up on your forehead just walking to get the mail, the kind that makes you lay on top the air vents and suck ice cubes, the kind that seems so relentless even at ten in the evening and the air is still thick as mud, that awful sort of heat that you trudged through on your nightly jog only to have your puppy decide he's had enough during the last quarter mile and refuse to lift his paws another step so you carry him home instead, then it's time to make peach ice cream.
I don't use my ice cream machine nearly enough, and I blame it on the mechanics of it. It's one of those fancy numbers that require no rock salt or manual labor, but instead a canister that takes a full twenty-four hours to freeze before you can use it. If you've been reading this blog for even a little while, you know that most of my baking happens on impulse - a sudden craving, a late night baking spell - so when the idea for ice cream tickles my tummy, it's quickly diminished by the realization I still haven't put the canister in the freezer and by the time it's ready to churn the desire for ice cream has completely escaped me. I'm a little flaky that way.
But this? This I planned for. I was waiting on a few doughnut peaches to ripen on the counter, patiently preparing for their day to take a swim through frozen cream. They took forever. For-ev-er. And sadly, they weren't even that good. Really. They are fun to look at and it's super fun to say "doughnut peach," but really, they have no flavor. Thankfully, I was redeemed by a lone Eastern peach that was going soft with ripeness, so I tossed that in with the doughnuts and got on my way. (So if you have the choice, go with traditional, sweet-smelling peaches that are starting to squish in spots - they truly make the best ice cream).
This recipe has the addition of sour cream, something I thought was a bit strange and my mother balked at when I told her what was in it. But really, it was quite lovely. It cuts the sweetness of the peaches just a bit and offsets the richness of the heavy cream just enough to allow for a second scoop. The original recipe doesn't call for the addition of chopped peach to be added, but when I saw the instruction to puree the whole batch, my heart sank a little. Half the joy of eating peach ice cream is the icy slivers of real peach woven throughout, am I right or am I right?
Of course I'm right. Now get on it.
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz.