Every season is ice cream season! Despite the cooler fall weather we’ve been experiencing recently, I’ve been straight up craving ice cream. Perhaps that’s because I’ve been locked up in quarantine all summer – but going out for ice cream is definitely something I’ve missed doing.
Over the summer, after years and years of saying “I hate peaches!” I found myself falling in love with peaches.
Or more specifically, peach ice cream.
We also got married this summer (and had a pandemic-style honeymoon!) and one of the gifts from my cousin (thanks, Marielle!!) was an ice cream attachment for my new KitchenAid stand mixer. It was definitely one of the gifts I was most excited to try out – so naturally I had to break it in with a fresh batch of homemade ice cream.
You don’t need a special attachment like mine to make this peach ice cream, however. Any ice cream maker will yield similar results.
Back to my recently discovered love of peaches. I was watching “The Great” on Hulu and one of the scenes describe eating peaches – chin up so that the juices run down your throat instead of down your arm. Something about that scene made me really want to try it for myself – and what do you know. It actually IS the best way to eat a peach!
Inspired by this scene, I decided to combine my new love for fuzzy peaches and the desire to make ice cream combine into one – and that’s how I ended up making this incredible peach cobbler ice cream.
Packed with bits of crunchy honey crust and bits of real, fresh peaches – this ice cream captures the essence of summer flavor in one chilly bite.
FRESH versus CANNED peaches?
For this recipe, I did a combination of fresh and canned. The canned peaches seemed to mix into the ice cream whereas the fresh stayed ‘chunky’ thoughout. Depending on what you want out of your ice cream (chunky or smooth or a little of both), you can do either method.
If using fresh, make sure you completely remove the skin so there aren’t fuzzy bits left in the ice cream. But if you’re not in the mood to clean and skin a bunch of fresh peaches, canned or even frozen peaches are definitely the way to go.
I churned my ice cream in the ice cream maker until it was thick. Ice cream churns achieve a smoother ice cream consistency and stop the formation of ice crystals that can ruin the texture of ice cream.
Churnning ice cream is an essential step to get the right smooth texture – but the freezer process after that is to get the chewy texture. After the ice cream has churned, I scooped it into a glass dish and froze it for about 10-12 hours. Doing this will make the ice cream the right overall texture – the perfect amount of smooth and chewy. The added texture of peaches and crumbly bits will do the rest!
Making the Ice Cream Base
Making legit ice cream is a process. All ice cream starts with a base that different flavors can be added to.
There are different ways to make this base, but this is the general idea that I used:
- heavy cream
- (usually vanilla)
Typically, the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla are simmered together and then the eggs are tempered before being added.
To temper the eggs properly, start by simmering the milk, cream and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is frothy. Then in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Remove a little bit of the cream mixture from the pot and VERY SLOWLY and in a constant stream, add the hot liquid while stirring quickly. The idea here is to bring the eggs up to temp without cooking them. If you add the eggs to the cream directly, they will start to scramble instead of form creamy custard.
Once the eggs are added, the cream is simmered until thickened and then placed in the fridge to cool until it is completely cooled. If you don’t chill your cream, you will NEVER end up with ice cream – even if you use the ice cream maker. I made the base the night before and let it chill overnight so that I could start my ice cream the following morning.
CHILLING THE CREAM IS SO SO SO IMPORTANT!
Making the Pecan Crumble
The best cobblers are topped with a sweet and crispy topping. The ice cream version is no exception. Lucky for us, this crunchy topping can be made quickly in the microwave – and can be used on a REAL cobbler too!
The ingredients are simple:
- melted butter
- honey roasted pecans (or regular crushed pecan pieces)
- brown sugar
Everything is mixed into the melted butter until crumbly and then frozen until solid.
Making ice cream teaches patience. But if you have the time, it’s quite easy to make.
I’ve been dreaming about this peach ice cream for weeks now – I can’t wait until next summer so I can get some fresh peaches off the traveling peach truck and recreate this for a warm summer evening.
Peach Cobbler Ice Cream
- In a pot over medium high heat, add the heavy cream, milk, sugar, salt and vanilla. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar is completely melted, about 8-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy and pale. Use a measuring cup to measure out about a quarter to half cup of the hot cream mixture. Very slowly pour the hot cream into the eggs while stirring constantly. When the egg mixture is smooth, very slowly pour the mixture into the cream in the pot – stir constantly.
- Bring to a low simmer and cook until thickened, about 10-20 minutes. It will be slightly thinner than the consistency of custard. Remove from the heat and pour into a heat proof dish. Cool until no longer steaming and then cover and place in the fridge to chill for at least 8-10 hours.
- While the cream is cooling, prepare the ice cream churn according to the instructions. For the KitchenAid attachement, freeze for at least 15-20 hours prior to making the cream mixture.
- In a food processor, combine a quarter cup of sugar with the sliced peaches. Pulse so that there are varying sizes of peaches. Stir into the cream then chill for an hour.
- While the peaches and cream cool, melt the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds to one minute. Stir in the pecans, flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon until crumbly. Place in the freezer to chill until set and hardened.
- Pour the chilled peaches and cream mixture into the ice cream churn. Churn until the ice cream is starting to thicken – about 15-20 minutes. Add about half of the pecan mixture and churn for a few more minutes until the pecans are stirred in. The ice cream will be the consistency of soft serve.
- Scoop the soft ice cream into a bowl or dish with an air tight lid. Sprinkle the remaining crumbles in between scoops and on top of the ice cream. Cover and freeze until solid, about 8-10 hours.
- Scoop and serve with your favorite ice cream toppings. Enjoy!