Are you as excited as I am that it’s July 1st?! Not only are we kicking off the official start of summer this weekend, but it’s also the start of National Ice Cream Month! 31 days dedicated to cold and creamy ice cream running down from cones to elbows in the blazing summer heat…it’s the food of the American childhood. Standard flavors aside, I wanted a flavor to really celebrate all that’s great about summer and as I’ve mentioned in a few of my recent posts, summer fruit is certainly one of the things that excites me the most about this season.
I had been dreaming up these roasted peach ice cream sandwiches for a few weeks now and they finally came together this week. If you’re familiar with The Perfect Scoop, you’ll already know that there is a [likely] very good peach ice cream recipe I could have used but it didn’t contain any eggs…and when I make ice cream, I want a smooth and creamy ice cream that you can usually only get from using egg yolks. So, working with a vanilla ice cream base I’ve used a few times before, I roasted a few peaches sprinkled with brown sugar and let them steep in the milk and custard mixtures to allow the flavors to blend together. After the ice cream was finished churning I mixed in the diced roasted peaches and let it freeze…though not without a few spoonfuls of the freshly churned stuff first.
The roasted peaches really do add quite a bit of a flavor boost to this already amazing vanilla ice cream and sandwiched between toffee cookies (recipe coming soon), you’ve got yourself a handful of heaven. And, if you can manage to wait a few minutes for the ice cream to soften before diving into these sandwiches, you’ll get the full effect of the peachy ice cream because as it softens and warms slightly, your taste buds will be better able to taste the ice cream (true story!). Toffee cookies aren’t a necessity here, though they were pretty amazing, so you can use any crispy cookie you want. I imagine even the Toll House recipe cookies without chocolate chips would be excellent as well. The key to making the sandwiches is to allow them to set up in the freezer for at least 6 hours (overnight would be better) to allow the ice cream to soften the cookie. And while it seems counter-intuitive to not use soft cookies for ice cream sandwiches, I firmly believe that crisp cookies have more flavor and hold up better overall to freezing that soft ones do. Regardless of the cookie you choose to accompany this roasted peach ice cream, I’m confident that you’ll love it as much as we both did. Did I forget to mention that in spite of the fact that Kyle continues to say that he isn’t a big fan of peaches (though he seemed to gobble up this recent dessert), he was blown away by these ice cream sandwiches — and frankly, who wouldn’t be?
Need a few other ideas for some rockin’ ice cream this summer?
source: adapted from David Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop Roasting the peaches for this ice cream deepens the flavor of the peaches and adding a splash of bourbon to the custard base before it’s churned lends another level of flavor to an already amazing ice cream base. Alternatively to roasting, you could blanch the peach for 30 seconds in a pot of boiling water and immerse them in a bowl of ice water to remove the skins. Slice them in half, remove the pit, and carefully drop them into the warming milk-sugar-cream mixture to steep away.
- 4 large peaches (about 1 1/2 lbs), cut in half and pits removed
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar + 2 tbsp, separated
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla bean
- 6 egg yolks
- Splash of bourbon (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and grease with butter or cooking spray. Lay the peaches on the sheet pan, skin-side down, and sprinkle 2 tbsp of brown sugar over the peaches. Roast the peaches for 30-40 minutes until they begin to brown and start to soften. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes before removing the skins.
- While the peaches cool, warm the milk, sugars, 1 cup of the cream, and salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warm milk and add the bean and peaches into the warm milk. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Carefully remove the peaches from the milk mixture and set aside in a medium bowl. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
- Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Put the vanilla bean into the custard and stir until cool over an ice bath. Once the custard has cooled, carefully add the peaches to the custard.
- Cover and chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (overnight works best to allow the flavors to blend together). When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and reserving it for another use. Remove the peaches and again set them aside in a medium bowl, taking care to remove as much of the custard from the peaches as you can. If you’re using it, stir in the splash of bourbon to the custard at this point. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Dice the peaches into approximately 1/2-inch pieces and stir into the ice cream to evenly distribute once it has finished churning. Freeze the ice cream for at least 4 hours before eating or adding to cookies for ice cream sandwiches.