Ripe peaches make tasty additions to any dessert, but with this homemade ice cream recipe you will find a whole new way to appreciate this flavorsome fruit. This excerpt from The Kitchen Garden Cookbook (DK Publishing, 2011) explains picking and storing peaches, and gives you a Peach Melba ice cream recipe worth saving.
When to pick peaches
Pick peaches when they come away from the tree easily. They should give slightly if squeezed, and often have a pinkish blush and a sweet fragrance when ripe.
Eat and store ripe peaches
Eat when slightly soft, at room temperature. Depending on when they are picked, they will keep up for 5 days at room temperature.
How to preserve peaches
Peaches can be sliced and dried, as well as used in all kinds of jams and jellies, savory chutneys, and preserves. They have low pectin content, so crack the stones open and use the kernels to help settling, as with apricots.
Pit, slice, and open freeze on trays, as a cooked or uncooked puree, as a freezer jam, or blanched or poached in sugar syrup.
Peach Melba Ice Cream Recipe
Prep 30 mins, plus churning and freezing
Cooking 15 mins
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 oz (100g) fresh raspberries
4 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and diced
Heat the cream and milk gently in a saucepan until bubbles appear around the pan’s edges, then remove the pan from the burner. In another bowl, whisk together egg yolks, vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup of sugar until thick and pale yellow. Pour cream and milk over the egg mixture, whisking to blend. Return the mixture to the cleaned pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook 6-8 minutes, stirring until it coats the back of a spoon.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and leave it to cool, stirring occasionally. Cover the surface with parchment or wax paper to prevent skinning.
Put raspberries and 2 tbsp of sugar in a bowl, mash, and pass through a sieve and into a measuring cup. Mash peaches and 2 tbsp of sugar and pour into another bowl.
When cold, process the custard in an ice cream maker according to directions, or for 20-30 minutes, until nearly frozen. Add peach puree to the process another 10-15 minutes to a frozen consistency. Transfer to a plastic container, drizzle raspberry puree over and draw it through to ripple. Freeze a few hours before eating.
For more great desserts from The Kitchen Garden Cookbook try: Cinnamon Apple Cake Recipe.
This excerpt has been reprtinted with permission from The Kitchen Garden Cookbook, published by DK Publishing, 2011.