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Roasted Peach Ice Cream

When you live in a part of the world where there really is no distinct change of seasons, you come to rely on certain signs to tell you when one is slipping into the next. For me, one of the harbingers of Summer is when I see little roadside stands overflowing with freshly picked Georgia peaches popping up along our suburban roads.
Whenever I do come across one, it’s hard for me to drive on by. I always have to stop and check it out. I’m usually rewarded with ripe, plump, sweet and juicy little orbs of peachy goodness. The problem is that I end up buying way more than my small family can eat, and they start going bad before we can use them up. When that happens, I dig into my bag of tricks and pull out a “peachy keen” recipe for them. Sometimes, it’s a cobbler or a crisp. Sometimes, a pie or a tart. And sometimes, a muffin or a cake. This last time, however, it was a rich and creamy roasted peach ice cream.

If you have never eaten a roasted peach, you are missing out. When sprinkled with a little sugar and roasted, peaches get all sticky, gooey and caramelized. Their sweetness intensifies threefold. They’re delicious served with some spiced whipped cream or creme fraiche, or used as a dessert topping. When churned in to a luscious homemade ice cream, they reach new heights of gloriousness!
To roast the peaches, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Pit and halve the peaches, and toss them in some white or brown sugar. Then, place them on a baking sheet, cut side down. Roast them for about thirty to forty minutes, until they are really soft and the skins are brown. After they’ve cooled, remove the skins and chop them roughly. Reserve in a container until you’re ready to use them. Make sure you scrape out every bit of the syrupy juice from the baking sheet too.

This ice cream is very easy to prepare. The recipe for the ice cream base does not include eggs, so there’s no tempering to deal with. It is virtually foolproof. Plus, you can also make it using other stone fruits like nectarines or apricots as well. I also like to add a few tablespoons of some kind of liqueur to my ice creams. The reason I do this is so that the ice cream doesn’t get rock hard in the freezer. For this recipe, I added a little white peach liqueur. This is strictly optional.
The next time you have some peaches hanging around threatening to spoil, try making some Roasted Peach Ice Cream. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Mike over at Mike’s Table [1]is hosting a new event called You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Frozen Desserts! [2]He’s calling for food bloggers to create some delicious, summery frozen desserts, so I’m sending this one his way.

Roasted Peach Ice Cream
Adapted from Alton Brown

2 cups half-and-half
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup peach preserves
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
Pinch kosher salt
4-6 medium roasted peaches

Combine all ingredients, except the peaches, in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Attach a candy thermometer to inside of pan. Stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to 170 degrees F. Remove from heat and strain into a lidded container. If you do not have a thermometer, bring the mixture just barely to a simmer. As soon as you see a bubble on the surface, remove it from the heat.
Cool the mixture, then refrigerate it overnight.
Freeze mixture in an ice cream machine according to unit’s instructions. Once the volume has increased by 1/2 and reached a soft serve consistency, add the peaches and continue turning to incorporate. Spoon the mixture back into a lidded container and harden in the freezer at least 1 hour before serving.
Makes 1 quart


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