Okay, so I wrote the post right below this one back in December–when I also had a “blog more often” sort of New Year’s resolution in mind. It’s a good thing I don’t actually make New Year’s resolutions, or I’d be quite a failure this year.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this blog back when I wrote on a regular basis included having a repository for my favorite recipes. If I’d misplaced one along the way–which, of course, rarely happens in my highly-organized kitchen–I could easily look it up in a post I’d shared earlier.
Like blogging, though, cooking seems to have gotten lost in the midst of all of the “life in general” stuff that’s going on around here. A heightened political climate that requires much more of my work time to be spent dealing with state-imposed “outside” issues while still trying to fit in all of my usual responsibilities in the school district means I’m working longer hours and feeling more stressed when I’m not working. Throw in the final stages of my doctoral process, and logging in to write about it all seems more than a little overwhelming. Did I mention I just moved my oldest to college a week ago? No, because I’m not talking about that yet.
But, I have a bit of a break between courses, and school got off to a relatively smooth start last week. Those two things combined left me feeling it was time to reach out a bit and spend a little more time socializing and a little less time working or lying about reading–a hobby I’ll always keep up regardless of the time factor involved.
One of the new teachers in All-American Public Schools happens to be the very first exchange teacher who came to our district from China. Back then, I worked at the high school, and our family hosted this teacher for several weeks. Soccer Boy had just turned 5, and so had Mr. N’s son—a son he’d left at home to come to the U. S. for a semester. Mr. N really bonded with Soccer Boy, and we’ve kept up over the years. He was able to come to the U. S. to earn his master’s degree and brought his son to visit us last year. Now, the family is moving here and trying to settle in to American life.
I can only imagine what it would be like to attend a large American middle school without really knowing anyone. Since Soccer Boy has plenty of friends to go around, we had several of them over and invited the N. family to join us for swimming and BBQ. Sunday afternoon turned out just perfect for the event, with clear skies and mild temperatures. We sat outside, and didn’t melt–quite a novel event around these parts lately.
But, the hit of the afternoon in my opinion came at the end. I’ve been searching for the perfect peach ice cream recipe for years. I don’t like the ones that are essentially vanilla ice cream with some peaches stirred in. I want real, peachy flavor. I am thrilled to report I’ve finally found a recipe that delivered that and more. I literally licked the container a few minutes ago to get the last little bit. Yes, it’s that good. I combined and changed enough details in a couple of online recipes to essentially make this one my own, so here it is.
Peach Ice Cream
6 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and diced
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 c. sugar, divided
2 c. heavy cream, divided
1 c. Half and half
6 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
1/4 c. Honey
1/8 tsp. almond extract
Peel, pit, and dice peaches. Fresh peaches can be frozen at this point and thawed prior to making ice cream. Reserve 1/2 c. peaches for later use. Place remaining peaches in saucepan with lemon juice and 1/2 c. sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. After approximately 8 minutes, mash softened peaches with a potato masher and continue cooking approximately 10 more minutes. Remove from stove and cool.
Place 1 cup heavy cream in clean sauce pan. Pour remaining cup of cream in the ice cream maker container and keep cold. Add half and half to the cream in the sauce pan and heat until warm. Whisk egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in bowl until smooth. Stir in salt. Temper this mixture with approximately 1/3 cup of the hot milk mixture. Slowly add the egg mixture to the remaining milk mixture. Stir constantly until mixture thickens forms a custard. Strain custard into cold, heavy cream in the ice cream maker container. Add honey and almond extract.
Process cooled peach mixture in food processor until smooth. Add peach purée to ice cream maker and stir to combine. Freeze as directed. When ice cream maker stops, stir in reserved peach pieces. Transfer to a large freezer container and freeze for two to three hours before serving.