Recipe: Strawberry-Peach Ice Cream (no machine required!)

When my mom came up to visit me recently she arrived with a mad craving for some of her homemade strawberry marmalade.  Frankly, I approved of this craving, as I find my mom’s marmalade to be some of the best I’ve ever tasted.

Not too sweet, not too tart, the aroma that fills the air while it’s cooking makes me feel like a first-grader all over again, barely tall enough to see the magic my mother was making on that stove top, intoxicated by the sweetness she was stirring in that giant kettle.

To fulfill this craving for marmalade and memories, we took a trip to the farmer’s market where we knew we’d find the best berries for the best prices.  After some photo-taking and ogling of other produce, we took home a nice flat of ripe, juicy strawberries that were just begging to be used in a million delicious ways.

Once the marmalade-making was over, Mom bequeathed upon me the last pint of berries to use as I wished.  What I wished was to make some homemade strawberry ice cream, my most favorite ice cream flavor ever, and something I could finally make in my own home now that I’d solved the homemade ice cream sans maker dilemma.

But one small pint of berries just didn’t seem like enough to make a decent amount of ice cream.  Not only do I like a lot of fruit in my ice cream, I also wanted the actual custard itself to taste like strawberries, so I was going to need some back up.  Enter the lovely summer peach.

Thought it’s still a little early in the season, there are some lovely stone fruits cropping up in grocery stores and farmer’s market stands.  Nectarines, apricots and peaches with their glowing orange skins are still a little firm,  but every bit as sweet & juicy as they’ve ever been.  The peaches, which were the ripest & sweetest of the bunch, seemed like a wonderful addition to the strawberries to create a delightful dessert bursting with summertime flavors.  My ice cream dilemma had finally been solved.

I tweaked the Vanilla-Citrus ice cream recipe to make this one, lightening it up with fewer egg yolks and using skim milk.  Though a slight difference in textures is discernible, this is still a rich, creamy dessert.  The fresh fruit gives the ice cream a refreshing zing that is not too sweet, not too tart, the combination of fruits lending a lovely, rosy-peach hue.  It’s the perfect summertime treat!  Let’s check out the recipe.

Strawberry Peach Ice Cream (makes about 2 pints; total cost per pint: $3)Ingredients:
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 c skim milk
6 large egg yolks
1 c sugar, divided
1 pint fresh strawberries, chopped
2 medium peaches, chopped
1 T lemon juice
1 t vanilla extract

Directions:
1.  Prepare an ice water bath and set aside in the sink.  Combine the chopped strawberries & peaches, lemon juice and 1/2 cup of sugar in a large bowl.  Mix together well, cover and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

2.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla and remaining sugar until smooth.  Heat the milk & cream in a saucepan, making sure that the mixture doesn’t come to a boil.  Carefully pour the heated cream into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously to prevent the egg from cooking.  Return the custard to the saucepan and cook over medium low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl, then place that bowl into the ice water bath.  Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.

3.  Remove the strawberries & peaches from the fridge and strain.  Set the fruit aside, then pour the juices directly into the custard.  Mix together until completely incorporated.  Pour the cooled custard into a deep metal pan and place in the freezer for about 45 minutes.  Remove from freezer, stir the frozen bits from around the edges into the mixture until smooth, then return to the freezer.  Repeat this process ever 30 minutes for about 2 hours, making sure that the mixture is completely smooth before freezing.

4.  After the last freeze, add the strained berries & peaches and stir into the ice cream until well combined.  Pour the mixture into an airtight container and freeze until ready to use.

5.  Garnish with fresh strawberry & peach slices, and enjoy!

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