Peaches ... are my favorite fruit of all. In July, I shared the easiest and best recipe for strawberry ice cream that I ever made and commented that I was going to adapt the recipe for peaches when they came in to season. Well it's peak peach season on Long Island right now and I did adapt that recipe. I do, ever so humbly, report that it's a great success. Just think, there's no tricky custard to create, there's nothing that can curdle if mistreated, just half and half, sweeteners, and, of course, peaches. Make the plunge. Buy an ice cream maker and make room for it in your freezer. You will never turn back once you've tasted your own homemade ice cream. Remember too that the extra peach purée and the sweet marinating syrup combine to make a killer peach daiquiri later.
Fresh Peach Ice Cream
8 fresh peaches (30 ounces once peeled and pitted), divided
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
4 tablespoons Cointreau
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup corn syrup
½ teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
- Peel, pit and thinly slice 6 ounces peach flesh, then slice crosswise into very thin pieces. In a mixing bowl, combine the peaches with 1/2 cup sugar and the Cointreau. Let stand in refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
- Peel, pit, and slice (large slices are fine) the remaining peaches and purée at high speed in a blender until very smooth, about 30 seconds. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of purée and our into clean mixing bowl. (If there is extra purée, it can be used as the base for peach daiquiris, later, along with the reserved peach syrup.)
- Whisk together the 1 1/2 cups peach purée with half and half, corn syrup, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar until fully combined. Add salt to taste.
- Chill in the refrigerator or ice bath until the base is very cold, at least 45℉, then churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
- In the last minute of churning, retrieve the peach mix-ins from the refrigerator, STIR WELL, strain off the syrup and add the marinated peach pieces to the churning base. (Reserve the syrup for those peach daiquiris.)
- Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and chill in freezer for at least 4 hours before serving.
NOTE: The ice cream makers that I've owned have both had a 1 quart capacity (4 cups) and this recipe does make 5 cups. Rather than try to adjust the recipe proportions, I churn the entire batch and just watch it near the end (after 15-20 minutes of churning), turning the machine off before the ice cream overflows. It will begin to seep into the top, but no worries, just don't walk away, it continues to expand its volume and could escape the whole apparatus before you know it.