Makes about 1 1/2 quarts
Adapted from Curtis Aikens’ recipe for Peach Ice Cream
2 1/2 cups chopped, peeled and pitted peaches and their juice
1 1/4 cups cane sugar (if your peaches are super sweet or if you don’t like sweet desserts, you might wish to cut the sugar back by 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons good quality Amaretto
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk, or 1/2 cup 1% and 1/2 cup light cream (this is what I used)
1/2 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract, such as Madagascar Bourbon pure vanilla
4 egg yolks
A 1 1/2 quart capacity ice cream maker. If using a small home electric kind, make sure the bowl is well frozen, as in several days in the freezer before you plan to use it.
2 nights before you want to eat your ice cream, combine the peaches, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the lemon juice and the amaretto in a small bowl. Stir to combine well, cover with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator overnight to well chill. You can stir it occasionally if you think about it.
The same night as you prep the peaches, make the custard base. In a saucepan combine 3/4 cup sugar, heavy cream and the milk or milk/light cream combo as mentioned above, and the vanilla. Bring it just to a boil over medium low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then remove it from the heat. In another small bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Add about 1/3 of the hot cream mixture to the yolks while whisking the yolks, then return the yolk mixture to the cream mixture in the saucepan while whisking the cream mixture. Return the saucepan with the custard mix to medium low heat and continue to cook, stirring with a spoon, until the mixture thickens, comes just to a low boil and coats the back of the spoon, leaving a clean trail when you run your finger through it. Remove the custard from the heat, strain it into a medium bowl through a fine to remove any solids and allow it to cool at room temperature until just barely warm. Cover with plastic wrap allowing the plastic to touch the top of the custard to prevent a skin, then cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and place it into the refrigerator to chill overnight.
After your custard and your peaches are well chilled the next day, strain the peaches over a fine sieve, collecting the juice into a bowl, then return the fruit to the fridge. Gently whisk the reserved juice into the custard, and start your ice cream freezer. I use a home Cuisinart ice cream maker, so this means at the last minute removing my frozen container, popping it onto the machine, putting in the dasher and lid, and starting it. Pour the custard mixture into the ice cream maker while it’s running and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions until almost completely done, in my case this was about 22 minutes later (please see visuals below.) When the custard is almost frozen—and this will be soft still—add in the cold peaches and let it run until it’s the desired consistency of frozen, about 8-10 more minutes.
Quickly transfer the ice cream from the bowl into freezer-proof containers or tubs, sealing well. Put the tubs of ice cream into the freezer and allow the ice cream to harden to normal ice cream consistency. I let it go overnight. This ice cream is very creamy and even after being frozen overnight, it will be scoop-able, but not soft serve. If you prefer yours softer, by all means freeze it to your desired preference or allow it to soften before serving. The ice cream will keep for several days in the freezer…but believe me, it won’t last that long!