peach pie ice cream

Well, it’s September now.

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Summer as we know it is officially over and everyone’s back to school and back to work. If Pinterest is any indication, one would think that Fall has already begun. Pumpkin fudge! Pumpkin brownies! Drill holes in a pumpkin to make it look like a lantern! And let’s not forget, the sacred and holy pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. God help us, it’s already in stores!

For those of you who bemoan the presence of all things Fall when some parts of the country are still suffering through 100+ degree temps, step one: read this, and step two: make this awesome peach pie ice cream! I had some frozen peaches left over from my lovely trek out to Apple Annie’s in Willcox in August, and I knew from the get-go that I wanted to make some peach pie ice cream. Peach pie! Ice cream! Cram them together and you have the perfect send-off to summer, the last hurrah for some of the best peaches of the season.

peach pie ice cream

(yields 6 cups, slightly more than 1 quart; 
ice cream base recipe adapted from Jeni Britton Bauer)

ice cream base:

2 c milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

4 tsp cornstarch

1 1/4 c heavy cream

2/3 c granulated sugar

2 Tbs corn syrup

1/4 tsp kosher salt

3 Tbs cream cheese, softened

peach compote:
(makes about 2 1/4 c of compote)

1.5 lbs (596 g) peaches, roughly chopped

1/2 c packed brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbs corn syrup

1 Tbs cornstarch

2 Tbs water

pie crust chunks:
(yields about 2 cups of chunks)

1 c + 1 1/2 Tbs (118 g) cake flour (Softasilk brand is good)

5 1/2 Tbs (75 g) cold unsalted butter, in small chunks

1/4 tsp (2 g) kosher salt

2 1/2 tsp (14 g) granulated sugar

scant 1/3 c (75 g) cold water

extra sugar, for sprinkling

[be sure before you start this recipe, that you have access to an ice cream maker, and that if it requires, that the bowl is fully frozen before you begin!]

For the peach compote: Let’s go! Start by combining your chopped peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, vanilla and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Stir it all together and cook over medium-low heat until boiling, about 8-10 minutes. In a small bowl, mix your cornstarch and water and stir into the peaches once they’re boiling. Bring the peach mixture back up to a boil and continue cooking for one minute. By now, your peaches should be thickened and smelling awesome. Take them off the heat and pour into a shallow baking dish. Set this dish into the fridge to chill while everything else happens!

For the pie crust chunks: Preheat your oven to 375 and get a sheet pan lined with parchment. In your mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cold butter chunks and mix them on speed 2 for 2-3 minutes. The mixture should be fine and crumbly. Stream in the cold water while the mixer is running on speed 2, and continue mixing until the dough has come together in the bowl. Dump your dough onto a well-floured surface and sprinkle with more flour. Pat the dough out to a flat disc and roll it out with a rolling pin, adding more flour to the dough as needed. Roll the dough out to about 1/4″ thickness, slice into thin strips and then cut those strips into small squares. Scatter the dough squares on the parchment-lined pan and sprinkle them with some extra white sugar. Bake the pie crust chunks for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and puffed. Gather them up, resisting the urge to snack on all of them, put into an airtight container and set them aside.

For the ice cream base: In a bowl, stir together the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of your milk; set this aside. In a medium saucepan, whisk the remaining 1 3/4 cup of milk, the heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring this to a boil over medium-high heat (be careful that it doesn’t boil over! It happened to me…), about 4 minutes. Stir in the milk/cornstarch mixture and cook for 2 minutes or so until the mixture is thicker. Honestly, mine never really got much thicker, so don’t fret if you’re standing over your stove wondering why your ice cream base hasn’t thickened much. It’ll still turn out amazing in the end!

Grab a medium sized bowl and throw your softened cream cheese into it. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture until it’s all smooth, then whisk in the rest of the cooked base. Chill this base mixture in a bowl submerged into a large bowl filled with water and ice cubes (ice bath, woohoo!), stirring occasionally, until the mixture is fully cooled. If you have more time or just more patience to wait for tasty ice cream, put the hot ice cream base into a bowl and let it chill fully in the fridge.

When your ice cream base is completely chilled, grab your ice cream maker (I swear by this one, and have had it for years) and its fully frozen bowl (if it’s one of those kinds). Assemble the ice cream maker and pour in the chilled ice cream base. Turn on the machine and let it work its magic until the ice cream is as frozen as it’ll get. Usually it’ll be the consistency of soft serve at this point, unless you have a super fancy machine that freezes it solid!

Scoop your frozen ice cream into a large bowl and dump in your pie crust chunks and the peach compote. Using a spatula, gently fold the ice cream with the mix-ins, being careful not to overmix and either melt the ice cream, or to lose the good ribbons of peach compote that you want visible in the ice cream.

Pour the finished ice cream into a container large enough to fit it all (I used an 8 cup GladWare container), and stash it in the freezer for a minimum of 4 hours. This will ensure that your ice cream is frozen solid and ready to scoop!

I was impatient and didn’t allow my ice cream base to fully chill before I poured it into my ice cream machine. Frozen bowl + too-warm ice cream base = rapidly thawing bowl and soupy ice cream. In other words, a sad day! When I stirred my pie crust chunks and peach compote into the ice cream, it started melting further, so when I froze it in its container, it formed large ice crystals because the melty parts froze too slowly. What you’re aiming for is a quick freeze, preferably with motion involved, like you get in the ice cream machine with its frozen bowl and constantly moving dasher. This promotes the formation of small ice crystals, which makes the ice cream smoother and better-textured. So, learn from my mistakes and don’t rush this process, or you’ll end up with icy and sad ice cream. It still tastes great though, so no harm done in the end!

It’s a shame I don’t have any ice cream cones in the house because this ice cream would be perfect for a good ice cream cone. If you have a waffle cone ice cream maker, a homemade cone would be killer with this ice cream.

Serve it up however you want, and it’ll still taste like glorious summertime — all the good parts, anyway: Staying up late at night, going to the beach, running through sprinklers, family vacations, barbecues, Kool-Aid-stained mouths, and all the good things summer is made of. We’ll forget about the stifling heat, mosquito bites, and higher electric bills due to non-stop air conditioning. Just grab another bowl full of this peach pie ice cream andeverything will be okay.

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