Photo by Amanda Greene
Ice Cream Sunday
It's July, and when I recall the hot Southern summers of my childhood, I remember the anticipation of eating homemade ice cream, specifically peach ice cream, while the churn kept cranking out on the carport. The neighborhood kids all running around, asking if it's ready yet. Dad calling out, "I need more rock salt!"
My father was adamant that the hand-cranked freezer made better "cream," but eventually he succumbed. The churn-churn-churn of the electric ice-cream freezer is still a sound that calls to mind the perfect treat of summers. On one or two occasions, when for some reason it didn't freeze all the way, we tried to drink the halfway-frozen concoction like sugar milk, foiling my mother's attempts to toss it in the garbage. Homemade ice cream was and still is the ultimate summer dessert.
Of course, there are all kinds of recipes, the cooked custard kind and the other, and we've shared one of our old standbys here. Most of us at The Bitter Southerner were raised on the cooked-custard method, like the one in this recipe, and believe it is the better route.
How do you make homemade ice cream? What's your favorite recipe? Do you have any churning on the carport right now? And if so, may we come over?
— Kyle Tibbs Jones
“Summertime Peach Ice Cream” from “The Heritage of Southern Cooking”
• 1 cup light cream, or half-and-half
• 1 1/2 cups whole milk
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 4 large egg yolks
• 8 large peaches, very ripe
• 2 teaspoons lemon juice, or more to taste
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1. Combine the half-and-half and whole milk in a saucepan, and scald. Do not allow it to boil. Set aside.
2. Add 3/4 cup of the sugar to the egg yolks, and mix thoroughly with a whisk or and electric mixer. Add the scalded cream and milk to the egg-yolk mixture, stir well, and transfer to the top of a double boiler. Cook over simmering water until the custard lightly coats a wooden spoon, 5 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat at once, pour into a cool bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the custard is cold, at least 35 minutes.
4. While the custard is cooling, peel and mash the peaches, leaving some lumps. You should have 4 cups. Add the lemon juice, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, and salt. Mix. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour.
5. When you are ready to make the ice cream, add the heavy cream to the custard mixture and mix thoroughly.
6. Freeze in an ice-cream freezer following manufacturer’s directions until the custard has returned to a soft cream. Stop turning, remove the cover of the container and add the peaches. Mix them in with a long-handled spoon, and continue to freeze.
NOTE: The custard and the peaches must be cold when freezing the ice cream; otherwise, the heavy cream will turn into buttery lumps.
This recipe makes about 1 gallon. To make 1 quart, the common capacity of most modern ice-cream freezers, divide all ingredients by 4.