19 August, 2008

Silver Linings

When life hands you an emergency trip to Kelowna in August you must seek peaches. Hubby's grandpa landed in the hospital last week with what turns out to be his second broken hip in a year. At the last minute we decided to drive out on a rare free weekend. How could we not take the opportunity to see Grandpa? The old man is doing okay after surgery and we all got another visit with him.

With a bit of free time in the afternoons - they have forced naptime at the hospital - we were able to enjoy a swim in the 40 degree weather. Whew. And the family in town (Hubby's uncle and his family also live there) had us all gather in the late evenings for beer can chicken and pizza. In their backyard they have some fruit trees and a walnut tree. Eager to always teach the Monster where her food comes from we climbed the terraced garden to the peach tree. Can I just say that my idea of heaven now involves a comfy chair under a peach tree? The scent is the pure scent of peach. No bath product can truly replicate this. And a fresh picked box of peaches is close, but it isn't as fresh or sweet as the scent right under the tree.

The Monster is suddenly a fan of whole fruits. On Sunday night she ate two plums, a peach, and then she stole my apple. This was after almost two slices of pizza! But there was no way I could deny her the fresh off the tree goodness. Bedtime be damned, still warm fruit in a sultry breeze with a full moon rising is not to be denied.

Hubby's uncle was generous and sent us home with a box of fresh-picked peaches. The car radiated sunshine as we drove home. We ate more than a few along the way, and then some more after the girls were finally asleep last night. Then I had some for breakfast and the Monster took one to daycare for lunch.

After making ice cream and some jam today I still have almost two dozen giant orbs that need to be made into something yummy. I am going to make this Browned Butter Bliss tomorrow. And a pie or two and some crisps will need to go into the freezer. That should take care of these peaches, and then I'll buy more on the weekend.

I searched and searched for some ice cream recipes. After my research I decided to be brave, or cocky, and make up my own. I wanted to stick with the custard base, still feeling like I need to master that before I branch out, but I was really disappointed with the egginess of my first attempt. And I had some thick whipping cream from Vital Green in the fridge that needed to be used. I found one recipe for brown sugar peach ice cream, and one for roasted peach ice cream. Without a doubt those two flavours needed to go together. I wasn't the only one who thought so... Julie, maybe we were separated at birth? I had no yogurt in the house and the baby was napping so I went on my own with the custard.

This was definitely a better attempt. Still not perfect, but I think the problem was the peaches, not the custard. I only mashed them when I should have blitzed them in the food processor. Mashing left them pulpy instead of pureed. I could have mixed the puree and some cut chunks. Lesson learned. We were able to wait long enough for it to harden before we ate it tonight, but just barely. Surprisingly, the Monster wanted nothing to do with it. I guess she wants to stick to whole fruit.

Roasted Peach Brown Sugar Ice Cream

3 large, fresh peaches
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup skim milk
2 egg yolks
dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees C.
2. Halve peaches and place in oven proof pan or baking dish. You don't have to peel them, but mine pretty much peeled themselves as I cut into them.
3. Dot peaches with butter and sprinkle 2 tbsp brown sugar. Roast for approximately 30 minutes. Let cool.
4. Mix cream and milk and heat over medium heat.
5. Whish egg yolks and 1/4 cup brown sugar.
6. When milk and cream are warm, but not hot, pour a little over the egg yolks to temper them, whisking constantly. Slowly add the rest of the cream and return the mixture to the pan.
7. Whisking constantly, cook the custard until thick and bubbles subside.
8. Cover custard and cool for a few hours or overnight. When cold, process in the ice cream maker according to your manufacturer's instructions.
9. While ice cream is being made pulse 2 of the peaches in the food processor until you have a coarse puree. Finely chop the remaining peach.
10. As the ice cream finishes in the maker, add in the puree and the finely chopped peaches to incorporate.
11. Place into a container and freeze for a few hours.


Julie said...

WOW, could we have been separated at birth? Great minds!
We'll have to have an ice cream party and compare...

Miriam said...

A dear friend of mine who has now passed on was a teetotaler--until it came to her homemade peach ice cream! At her memorial service, her nephew called her a "bootlegger"--he waited a few beats as he looked over his glasses at those gathered and then told us it was for the peach schnapps for her ice cream! She had someone go buy it for her as she wouldn't enter a liquor store. We all 'bout fell on the floor laughing over the term "bootlegger" 'cause it was so out of character for the woman we knew. But apparently not when it came to her homemade peach ice cream!

Wish I had her recipe to share. But I love the pictures in this post. Heavenly indeed.