In the summer, there’s just nothing like homemade ice cream to cool you down on a hot afternoon. And while it is surely much easier to run and buy some, there’s just something about making your own. It’s a process. I remember as a kid sitting on the carport at my grandparents’ house with all of my family anxiously waiting for the ice cream to finish freezing. It was an opportunity to sit and chat. If we were using the hank crank maker, we kids would take turns sitting on the top of the freezer covered with a beach towel to keep it from moving around. Eventually we graduated to the electric kind, but somehow that hand-crank version tasted better. Ice cream flavors back then were usually just vanilla or chocolate, but occasionally my grandfather would make his peppermint ice cream. And while it might seem different, that is what summer tastes like to me. I sure to do long from some of that cold, pink ice cream that seemed even colder because of the peppermint.
This isn’t peppermint, but it comes in as a close second. I found this recipe several years ago in Southern Living Comfort Food: A Delicious Trip Down Memory Lane. Sometimes you just can’t improve upon perfection and that’s the case with this recipe. One thing that the recipe calls for that I do differently, is the way to process the peaches. The recipe says to puree them after blending them with the sugar. I like to just use a potato masher to get them mashed up a bit but leave some chunks. I really like to have the chunks of fruit in there. Feel free to do it either way though.
I want to share something else with you really quickly. I HATE peeling peaches and other soft flesh fruit. I started using this technique and it makes all the difference in the world, especially if you’ve got a bunch to peel.
Start by cutting an x in the end of the peach opposite the stem
Drop the peaches into boiling water for 45 seconds to 1 minute. You’ll see the x in the peach start to separate. The riper the peaches, the quicker that happens.
Remove the peaches from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and plunge them into a bowl of ice water. Let them sit for about 2 minutes.
Remove them from the ice water and peel back a portion of the peel at the x. Then just pull the peel away.
There you go! A nice peeled peach. No cuts and you didn’t leave half of the peach on the peel.
- 4 large fresh peaches, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1 (3.4-ounce) box vanilla instant pudding mix
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 4 cups half and half
- In a medium bowl combine the chopped peaches and sugar. Stir to combine and refrigerate for about an hour. Once the peaches have chilled for an hour, use a potato masher to mash them up, leaving some chunks.
- In another bowl, combine the evaporated milk and pudding mix. Add the sweetened condensed milk and stir well.
- Pour the peaches, pudding mixture, and half and half into the container of a 4 to 6-quart ice cream freezer and mix well. Freeze according to the freezer manufacturer's directions.
- Once it is frozen, eat directly from the container or transfer to a container with a lid and freeze for a more solid ice cream.