This is what I made today. I have been luxuriating in the smell of white peaches since we bought them a couple days ago.
White Peach Ice CreamIngredients:
2 white peaches
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup and 2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons strong-brewed Earl Grey teaDirections:
Over a small bowl, pit and peel the peaches, then dice them. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to the diced peaches and stir. Sprinkle 1/3 cup sugar over the diced peaches. Cover and set aside to macerate for one hour, stirring occasionally.
In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and 3/4 cup whole milk. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons strong-brewed Earl Grey tea. Whisk in 2/3 cup sugar until dissolved. Carefully pour in the juice from the bowl of diced peaches, reserving the solid parts for later. Whisk again.
Pour the milk mixture into the ice cream machine and freeze for 25 minutes.
Crush the diced peaches into mush using a potato masher or similar tool. Add the peach mush to the ice cream. Freeze for another 5 minutes.
Transfer the ice cream to a container and put it in the freezer. Leave it in the freezer overnight so the flavors can marry.
Serve the next day.Notes:
This recipe is optimized for white peaches. They have a very distinctive flavor: intensely sweet top note, mellow middle note, and a bitter bottom note that is almost more texture than flavor – kind of like the furry character of rose water. They also have a strong scent, sweet and floral. White nectarines and white apricots share a similar flavor, so they may be substituted for peaches in this recipe. I do not recommend using yellow peaches, nectarines, or apricots here because they have such a different flavor.
Good, fully ripe peaches are extremely soft and juicy. Cutting them over the bowl in which the fruit will go catches more of the juice, rather than losing it on a cutting board. Just be careful handling slippery peaches and a sharp knife at the same time. I cut these in half first, then quarters, then dug my fingers into the slits to remove the pits. (Freestone peaches are best, as they can be pried cleanly off the pits. Cling peaches have to be cut away from the pits.) Then I peeled the sections with my fingers and cut the sections into chunks. Do what works for you.
There is just enough lemon juice to coat the peach bits and encourage them to release their flavor. There is just enough vanilla to mellow the cream base. Don’t overdo the sharp notes; this ice cream relies on a different composition than many others do.
The preponderance of heavy cream gives this ice cream a good “peaches’n’cream” effect.
The Earl Grey tea is the key to making this ice cream work. It has a high citrus note, a slightly musky middle note that goes well with the middle mellowness of white peaches, and a similar furry-bitter bottom note. Thus it harmonizes with all of the white peach flavors, helping to unify the fruit and the milk base. The tea isn’t really noticable as a separate taste in the finished ice cream. It should be brewed long enough to be a dark liquid brown, not pale. I make mine by putting a tea bag into a cup of cold water, microwaving it for 2 minutes, then ignoring it for an hour or two.
I nicknamed this “The Ice Cream of Civilization” because peaches are considered the fruit of civilization in my fantasy setting, the Whispering Sands. And tea is likewise a symbol of all that is cultured and civilized in our world. For people who just want to know what’s in it, “White Peach Ice Cream” makes a more obvious official name.
Also, it took me about 20 minutes to figure out what to use in the base to bring out the distinctive flavor of the white peaches. I finally settled on Earl Grey tea.