I love baking. Really, I do (which probably doesn’t come as a surprise to any of you)! But sometimes, every once in a while, it’s simply too hot to turn that oven on. Now would be one of those times, where the past couple of days have hovered in the high 90s to low 100s, and our typically cool nights just haven’t been very cool. We can’t seem to catch a break! Not that I’m complaining, mind you. Norway gets pretty cold (and dark) in the winter so I’m soaking up all the sun I can get! But as much as I want to bake and blog, I just can’t bring myself to turn that oven on (more accurately, my family won’t let me turn the oven on). What’s a gal to do? She’s makes ice cream! Preferably with some of that fresh fruit that’s in season!
Vanilla Bean Peach Swirl Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart of ice cream
What you’ll need:
1 cup whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 cups heavy cream
5 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 fresh peaches
Be forewarned: this recipe will require about a day’s worth of (off and on) chilling before it’s ready, so I’m afraid this isn’t going to give that ice cream craving of yours instant gratification. That being said, it’s SO worth the wait! This is also a no-ice-cream-machine-required recipe, because really, who needs another kitchen gadget? Unless, of course, you already have one (lucky duck!)…
For this recipe, we’ll start with the vanilla bean and cinnamon ice cream. In a medium-sized pan, bring your milk, salt, and sugar to an almost boil (enough so that it’s hot, but not boiling, and the sugar has dissolved). While you wait for the milk/sugar mixture to get hot, cut your vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrap out the beans. Once your milk/sugar mixture is ready, add the vanilla beans and the pod, cover and remove from the heat. Allow this to steep for about an hour (trust me, the super vanilla bean flavor is SO worth it!). Once the hour is up, bring the mixture up to a boil (vanilla beans and pod included), whisk in the egg yolks, and boil until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of a spoon. While your custardy base thickens, place a bowl with your cream in an ice bath. This will help cool down the whole mixture. Strain your (finished) custard into the cold cream, and whisk together with the vanilla extract and cinnamon. Continue whisking until the mixture cools. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the freezer to harden. Check on your ice cream every couple of hours, stirring so that it freezes evenly.
Once you’re ice cream has completely set, you’ll want to give it a good blend so it has that smooth, ice cream texture. This is what an ice cream machine would do for you, but remember, we’re going low-tech no-ice-cream-machine here. Although we will be using an electric hand mixer. Scoop your frozen (although not hard) ice cream into a large bowl, and beat until it’s smooth and lump free. Before you return your ice cream to it’s container and to the freezer, you’ll want to add your peaches. We’re going totally fresh peaches here, so simply cut your peaches into tiny pieces (you can use your blender for this step, as well, but you don’t want them completely pureed because it’ll create too much liquid). Alternate adding layers of ice cream and layers of peach as you return the two to their final container (I recommend a metal loaf pan). To make the swirl effect, drag a butter knife back and forth in a zig-zag pattern through your layers of ice cream.
Cover and keep frozen until serving.