Fresh Peach Ice Cream
This basic method works for pretty much any soft, sweet fruit--berries, figs, plums--so play around with combinations.
Fruit ice cream is often made without a custard. That is, heavy cream and sugar and fruit are whipped together and frozen without first thickening the cream by cooking it with eggs. This can be wonderful and refreshing or, honestly, it can be a bit thin-tasting and icy. Yet cooking up a custard is the part that keeps many people from making ice cream (that's my theory, anyway).
There is a third way: It involves sweetened condensed milk. This gives classic fruit ice cream a little bit heavier texture, in a great way.
- 3 cups of half-and-half or heavy cream
- 1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 Teaspoon of vanilla
- 2 cups of fruit
- Mix three cups half-and-half and/or heavy cream (or combination thereof) with one 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk. Add a teaspoon of vanilla, if you like. Fresh ginger, a bit of cinnamon or other spice, or liqueur are other possible flavors to play with. Cover and chill until very cold (this will help it freeze faster and, in my anecdotal experience, with a better texture).
- Freeze this mixture in an ice cream maker or put it in a metal bowl, cover and put it in the freezer, pulling it out occasionally to whisk it up, incorporating the frozen bits along the edge of the bowl back into the looser parts, until it thickens up. Meanwhile, mash or purée about two cups of picked over, peeled if necessary, chopped if needed, fruit. Stir the fruit into the cream mixture once the cream is set up and thickened enough so the fruit won't all just drop to the bottom.
- Continue freezing until the cream re-thickens after the addition of the fruit, then cover and freeze until the whole thing is as fully set as you like your ice cream--a few hours for hard ice cream, depending on your freezer.
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