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Peach Ice Cream Heaven

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Peach Ice Cream

Every summer deserves a little homemade peach ice cream.

If you make anything this summer, this heavenly peach ice cream needs to be it. No joke. We made it on a whim last weekend and felt like the most amazing cooks, if I must say so. Honestly, it’s so good nobody can stop eating it.

I remember homemade peach ice cream being a big deal growing up. Maybe once a summer, my parents would make it in a giant wood (at least in my memory the machine was wood) ice cream maker. I think there was rock salt involved somewhere. The whole thing was quite a project – I probably haven’t had homemade peach ice cream since I was in elementary school. But, oh, eating it by the pool as it dripped down our chins was something memorable.

We’ve had our own ice cream maker – a modern one – for years, but I think we may have used it twice 14 years ago. Last week, we had to get a new refrigerator (UGH), which meant we emptied out the old freezer. And way in the back, guess what we found? The bowl of the ice cream maker, frozen, as it should be, waiting to be used. So we used it. 

We took what looked like the best parts of several recipes and mashed them up to make exactly what we wanted, and the result was our version of perfect peach ice cream. Like peaches and cream, just frozen, with chunks of cold peach throughout. You could really use any fruit in this recipe – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries. Whatever you love.

Making ice cream in one of the makers available today is a no-brainer. The machines are inexpensive (here’s one for less than $50), and they sit on the kitchen counter and do the work. And they’re so worth using. I’m betting you will not go back to Ben & Jerry’s anytime soon.

Peach Ice Cream


4 large, ripe peaches, peeled and chopped into ¼-inch cubes (or smaller or bigger, depending on how you like your peach ice cream)
Juice of ¼ lemon
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
1 ½ cups heavy cream

Recipe directions: 

Place the chopped peaches in a bowl, and drizzle the lemon juice over them. Set them aside. In a small saucepan, stir the milk and sugar over medium heat until the mixture is hot and the sugar has dissolved. 

Pour the heavy cream into a medium-sized bowl and set it aside. 

In another bowl, beat the egg yolks with a fork until they thicken a bit and look pale yellow. While whisking, slowly add about a cup or so of the milk-sugar mixture to the egg yolks – incorporating the hot milk slowly into the yolks ensures that they won’t cook when they hit the saucepan. Pour the milk-sugar-egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk-sugar mixture. Cook, stirring slowly and continuously with a wooden spoon, over medium heat until you have a thick custard. If you want to use a thermometer to be sure the custard is ready, it should register between 165 and 170 degrees. Otherwise, just watch for the custard to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour the custard into the bowl with the heavy cream, and stir it all together.

Stir in the peaches and their juice. Chill the mixture (it doesn’t have to be freezing), then pour it into your ice cream maker. Follow the directions for the machine, or just turn it “On” for 30 minutes or so, until your ice cream looks like soft serve ice cream. If you have some discipline, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and stash it in the freezer for a couple of hours to harden. Otherwise, grab a spoon.

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