|Dry Creek Peaches from the Healdsburg farm at the height of Summer.
“... When you wash that treasure under a stream of cooling water, your fingertips instinctively search for the gushy side of the fruit. Your mouth waters in anticipation. You lean over the sink to make sure you don’t drip on yourself. Then you sink your teeth into the flesh and the juices trickle down your cheeks and dangle on your chin. This is a real bite, a primal act, a magical sensory celebration announcing that summer has arrived."
~From Epitaph for a Peach by David Mas Masumoto
Michelle did a post a few weeks ago on the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum which I loved for many reasons... primarily the abundance of gorgeous photos that she shot there on location. However, attached to that post, she also wrote and photographed detailed instructions for two kinds of ice cream using a base that is made with non-fat dry milk powder in addition to the cream and milk that are in the recipe. This was new to me, and being that premium ice creams and gelati can be as much as seven dollars for a pint, I decided to make it on her recommendation, and because it looked so darn good in her photos. Well, turns out the ice cream is truly delicious, and quite different from our family standard which we all love beyond reason, our Wilkins Family Lemon Lemon Ice Cream.
After I made the initial batch of vanilla, which was indeed delicious, I decided to make the ice cream again and use up some beautiful and ripe fresh peaches that I had on hand. On this second making, I elected to add some peach purée to the recipe. Mark mentioned that he had very fond memories of making a delectable peach ice cream with dark rum in it some years back. I also being a fan of dark rum, thought that sounded like a great substitution for the vodka in Michelle's recipe which keeps the ice cream from getting rock hard during its stay in the freezer. The peach ice cream was scrumptious, but in a flurry of inspiration from the God of Spirits (the alcoholic kind) the following evening, I topped Mark's and my portions with a little pour of Amaretto liqueur. This small but magnificent addition transformed the peach ice cream into something that seemed to Mark and I at that very moment, to transcend mere dessert. Moreover, it seemed to us that we were truly eating a divinely inspired ambrosia. I know that the word affogato usually applies to ice cream with hot espresso poured over the top, but since the translation of affogato is drowned, I chose to use it as the name for my peach ice cream "drowned" in amaretto.
The first time I made this ice cream, I made the peach purée and used it right away. The second time, however, I ran out of daylight, so I added a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice to my peach purée and froze it in canning jars. The lemon keeps the fruit from turning brown. Citric acid would also work. Freezing your purée also allows for purchasing peaches in season and then being able to make ice cream in the dead of Winter, when you can enjoy savoring your ice cream and remembering the previous Summer in all its glory.
The part about running out of daylight isn't exactly true in that it inhibited my ice cream production, because I make my ice cream in my kitchen sink. Michelle likes to have Jay make the ice cream outside at her house, but I prefer to have the electric ice cream maker chugging away near by, where it doesn't need my constant attention. This way I can be prepping other items, or working at my computer.
Ingredients:Michelle's Really Excellent Vanilla Ice Cream x 2 ( I doubled the recipe)
3 cups fresh peach purée
1/2 cup of dark rum (I used Bacardi® Select)
Amaretto Liqueur (Disaronno® is the only one I use and worth the extra expense)
Makes 3.5 quarts of ice cream
Procedure:Make a double recipe of Michelle's Really Excellent Vanilla Ice Cream. Strain the cooked base into a large bowl and chill the bowl over ice water to speed up the process, or place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill. I have not found it necessary to chill the mixture overnight. When it is no longer warm you may add the peach purée and dark rum. Once the mixture is chilled down, it is ready to be churned. Freeze following the manufacturer's instructions for your ice cream maker. After churning, I allow my ice cream to sit for a bit in the ice and rock salt. This step allows me more time until I am ready to scoop it out into a cambro, and it also allows the ice cream to get more firm. First though, I remove the paddle, and the put the lid back on the canister to cover the ice cream. Then I rest the top of my ice cream maker back on the canister using it as a weight. Just make sure that the salty water level does not reach the top of your canister and get into your finished ice cream. Fill around the top with more ice (no more salt) and allow to sit for 30 minutes or more.
|The ice cream is finished and is resting with the paddle removed.
Scoop the ice cream when you are ready into your desired container/s, and then let the prepared ice cream harden in the freezer for 2 to 4 hours after it is made before serving. Since the ice cream will stay fresh in the freezer for a minimum of two weeks, this makes this dessert a great choice for entertaining. The amaretto is an an elegant addition, and I have yet to have a guest fail to be impressed that I actually made my own ice cream... even Kirk Douglas.