After living in a house in the ‘burbs, there were a few luxuries we had to give up in order to move into the city. Eric misses the obvious luxuries like the dishwasher, a driveway, and a disposal. I, on the other hand, miss the cabinets and counter space most of all. In the move to a much smaller place, a lot of my beloved, albeit superfluous, kitchen gadgets didn’t make the cut. Among the sad pile of discards was the rice cooker, the counter top griddle, and a slow cooker the size of a UFO.
Then there are the gadgets that I would probably risk life and limb for if there were ever a fire: the stand mixer, the food processor, and the Margaritaville (yes, I have a blender completely dedicated to the art of the margarita). But then there’s the unsung hero of my kitchen- the ice cream maker. Obviously, it made the cut. There is nothing better than homemade ice cream, and it’s not particularly hard to make either.
I’m not normally a fruity ice cream kinda girl. Actually, the whole chomping down on something rock hard and freezing cold thing makes me cringe. Since it’s my ice cream maker, I get to make the rules, and I say no big fruit chunks for me please. I’m on a serious peach kick right now so I ended up cooking some down with sugar, mashing them up so there wouldn’t be any huge freezing chunks, and mixing them into a very creamy vanilla base. While this was churning in the ice cream maker, I lost count of how many times I stuck my spoon in to sneak a taste. Eric, who was busy scrubbing dishes sans dishwasher, provided frequent scolding as I stuffed face with ice cream.
The base for my ice cream included egg yolks, heavy cream, sugar, and half a vanilla bean, to which I added my peaches during the churning process. You can make ice cream without the egg yolks, but the texture just isn’t the same. Otherwise known as creme anglaise, the base I used is rich and smooth due to the yolks.
The end product was vanilla-y with a side of sweet peach, and the two flavors combined perfectly to create a ridiculously delicious end of summer treat.
What kitchen gadgets could you not live without?
Recipe: Vanilla Peach Ice Cream
- 5 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into small chunks
- 3/4 cup sugar (divided into 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup)
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- half a vanilla bean, with seeds scraped
- 5 egg yolks
In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of the sugar with the chopped peaches. Cook on medium heat, stirring often, until soft and slightly jammy and thick in texture. Remove from the heat and mash with a potato masher (or blend in a blender or food processor) to desired chunkiness. Set aside in a small bowl and allow to cool completely.
Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan with the vanilla bean. On low heat, warm the cream until slight bubbles form along the edges of the pan. Do not boil. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and slowly begin pouring in 1/2 cup sugar. Whisk in a back and forth motion until thick and pale yellow in color.
Remove the cream from the heat and add about 1 tablespoon of it to the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue adding the warm cream a little at a time so that the yolks don’t curdle. Once about half of the cream is in the yolks, pour in the rest in a slow and steady stream. Prepare a large bowl filled with ice and enough cold water to cover the ice. Place a slightly smaller bowl atop the ice so that it nests inside but won’t tip into the ice water.
Return the cream and egg mixture to the stove in a medium sauce pan on very low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon constantly until the mixture becomes slightly thick and will coat the back of the spoon without sliding right off. The process could take about 10-15 minutes. Once thickened, immediately strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into the bowl perched atop the ice water. This will cool the mixture down enough that the yolk won’t continue cooking and start to curdle. Chill the base completely in the refrigerator before using with the ice cream maker. Once chilled, churn in your ice cream maker. Add in the peaches during the last five minutes of churning. Freeze until firm.