Summertime and the Peach Desserts are Easy…

Summertime and the Peach Desserts are Easy…

Summer screams for ice cream, and ice cream screams for bold new flavors. While walking through the Farmer’s Market last Saturday, I came to a popsicle stand advertising the most interesting flavors: Lavender Chocolate, Roasted Blueberry, Thyme & Lime. It was fascinating! Inspired by these unique combinations, and having just bagged loads of juicy, fresh peaches, I embarked on a little ice cream screamin’ myself!

First, I decided to roast the peaches. Since I never roasted peached before, this was a bit of a trial. I preheated the oven to 400°, and divided my sliced peaches into groups. I placed half on parchment paper (on a baking sheet), and the other half on the sheet itself. Here they are in glorious detail:

Then I divided these groups, and sprinkled half with brown sugar. I placed the pan in the oven and waited. After 5 minutes, the peaches began to break down, but did not appear to brown. I waited 5 minutes more, and noticed that the peaches with brown sugar were beginning to brown. After a total of 12 minutes, the group with brown sugar looked perfect. Success!

Now for the ice cream! In my book, Sunday Best Dishes, I have a recipe for Salted Caramel Ice Cream. It involves caramelizing the sugar before you mix it into the custard. It sounds hard, but it’s really not. I made the caramel ice cream base (without the salt) and stirred in the peach puree. Let me just tell you I am really delighted with the results. And, I think you will be too.

What this recipe really shows is first how easy it is to make ice cream at home and secondly, how easy it is to make your own inspirational ice cream at home, using your favorite flavors and whatever is in season. I encourage you to give it a try and share your screamin’ ice cream with your fellow foodies here at

Roasted Peach and Caramel Ice Cream

Serves a crowd

30 Minute Cuisine plus cooling and chilling

Roasting fresh picked peaches intensifies the flavor and gives them a hint of smokiness. Caramelizing the sugar intensifies the sweetness. Seems to me, it’s a match made in ice cream heaven!

6 to 8 medium peaches, peeled and thinly sliced

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 cups half and half

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup granulated sugar

6 large egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 425°. Place the sliced peaches onto a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the peaches, and gently toss. Roast the peaches until they begin to break down and turn golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly and then transfer the peaches to a blender and puree. You will get about 2 cups of really yummy peach puree.

Heat the half and half, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat, until little bubbles begin to form on the sides of the pan, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Heat the sugar in a separate saucepan pan with ¼ cup water, over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Increase the heat and bring the sugar to a boil. Continue boiling until the sugar begins to turn caramel in color, about 8 minutes. Gently swirl the pan to make sure that the sugar colors evenly.

Now, here is the tricky part. SLOWLY pour the warm half and half into the caramel. As it first blends, the hot caramel will bubble up and expand up the sides of the pan. Stop pouring until the bubbles settle down, and then pour in the rest of the half and half.

Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl. Carefully pour about ¼ cup of the caramel half and half into the eggs, whisking constantly. This will temper the egg yolks and help to prevent them from scrambling. Pour the tempered egg yolks into the pan. Reduce the heat to medium, and stir until the caramel custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Pour the custard through a fine sieve (or colander) into a clean bowl. Stir in the peach puree. Place that bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes. Chill the peach custard, stirring occasionally, until it comes to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Cover the custard with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Place the custard into the bowl of your ice cream maker and freeze according to the directions for your machine. Serve immediately, or place the ice cream into an airtight container in the freezer. When you serve it it’ll look like this, PEACHY KEEN:

Pumpkin Overload!

Pumpkin Overload!

What to do with all of those two for the price of one cans of pumpkin puree? Well, it’s a bit like Bubba Gump. You can bake pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake and pumpkin muffins. You can prepare pumpkin waffles, pancakes and coffee cake. There’s pumpkin soup and pumpkin mole sauce. Pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin trifle… get the idea?

Well, here’s a refreshing dish. Let’s use that leftover pumpkin to create Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream. Believe it or not, it takes little effort. An ice cream machine does all of the work. Serve it alongside your favorite cookie… maybe pumpkin biscotti?!

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Rich, velvety ice cream comes together more quickly than you might think. Serve with chocolatey brownies or cookies for an over-the-top ice cream experience. Remember, if it’s not frozen…. It’s not dessert!

Makes 12 Scoops

4 hours ‘til Dessert time

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Whisk together ½ cup brown sugar and egg yolks in a small bowl until smooth.

Whisk together heavy cream, the remaining ½ cup brown sugar, pumpkin puree, milk, salt and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Cook until the liquid just begins to bubble on the edges, about 5 minutes. Do not let it boil.

Whisk a small amount (1/4 to 1/3 cup) of the warm liquid into the sugar and egg yolks. Pour this back into the saucepan. Cook the custard over medium heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Pour the custard through a sieve or fine mesh strainer into a bowl. This will sort out any cooked bits of egg. Place this bowl into a larger bowl. Place ice cubes into the larger bowl to chill the custard. Stir the custard every once in a while to reduce the temperature. When the custard is cooled (this can take 30 to 45 minutes) pour into an ice cream machine. Churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Transfer to an airtight container and chill further in the freezer for at least 2 to 3 hours.