Monday, September 6

EATING THE SFA COOKBOOK: PEACH ICE CREAM

Eating the SFA Cookbook: Peach Ice Cream

After taking another hiatus from cooking (doctor's orders!), I decided to give "Eating the SFA Cookbook" another go. In the spirit of Labor Day and enjoying the last days of summer, I landed on a recipe for peach ice cream from Elizabeth Karmel. Also, I've been dying to hit the sweets section of the book.

I waited a bit long in the season to choose peaches...at least here in Mississippi. The ones at our local farmers market store were shipped from Georgia and were looking quite sad. The ones at our local grocery store were giant (I don't trust a peach the size of a softball). I bought a couple anyway, but, as expected, they didn't have much flavor. Luckily, I also bought a pint of fresh strawberries that were juicy and full of flavor.

I believe this recipe actually qualifies as frozen custard or "french-style" ice cream (due to the eggs and butterfat). I began by scalding milk (thank you to Joy of Cooking for helping me "eyeball" what scalding milk looks like), and then continued on with making a vanilla custard. So this is what making pudding not-from-a-box must be like! I have to be honest here: I had to do this twice. The first time, even though the recipe warns you not to let the custard get too hot (or it will curdle), I got impatient towards the end and turned up the heat one notch. Do NOT be tempted to do this! Just as Elizabeth promised, the custard started to separate. I don't think it's a total loss though--I caught it early--and I plan on making another batch of ice cream with this and seeing if I can tell the custard isn't perfect.


Once I got the custard just right, then it needed to cool in the fridge for several hours (or up to several days). Be sure to have the plastic wrap actually touch the top of the custard. Unless you're like George Costanza, you won't be pleased with the "film" on top. Next up, I mixed in whipping cream (no, this is not low-fat ice cream), and popped it in my ice cream maker. Though Elizabeth's grandma--who is the creator of this recipe--would only use a hand-crank machine, I used the one I HAD to put on my wedding registry but have only used once in seven years. I'm not sure what's louder--an ice cream machine or my 2-year-old declaring "I NEED ice cream!" When the ice cream was almost ready, I added the macerated strawberries. Then the hard part: after all of this,I still had to put this in the freezer to harden.


The good news first: the ice cream is rich and creamy and just about the best ice cream I've ever eaten. The bad news: I know why. There's no denying what all is making this taste so good. But I promise, it's worth every calorie!