Some dads play golf. Some fish. When my dad needs to relax, he drives. Windows down, radio on. And not just around the block or around town. Once he left the house and drove all the way to New Orleans.
He’d offer to take us out to eat after church, and three hours later, we’d wind up at Lambert’s Café in Sikeston, Missouri, reaching up for those “throwed rolls” like they were manna from heaven.
But one of the benefits of Daddy’s extensive travels was that right as we started threatening to kill ourselves or each other if we didn’t get out of the van, he’d find a dairy dip. Some standing room-only shack that smelled like little burgers and fries and soft-serve ice cream.
Daddy bought a lot of goodwill with that 99-cent cone.
Now, I love making ice cream at home, and this is the one of the best I’ve ever made or eaten: Dorie Greenspan’s Honey-Peach Ice Cream.
Orange blossom honey. Georgia peaches. Whole milk, cream, sugar.
Summer in a cone.
Even the smallest bite blooms with the flavor of ripe peaches and cold, sweet cream. It’d be worth a three-hour drive, but it’s so much nicer to just walk to the freezer.
Prepare for the peachgasm.
Honey-Peach Ice Cream
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours”
Makes about 1 quart
- 4 large ripe peaches (about 2 pounds), peeled and pitted
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- To peel and pit the peaches: Fill a large pot with enough water to cover your peaches. Bring the water to a boil. Using a paring knife, lightly score the bottom of each peach with an X. Then add the peaches to the boiling water for 45 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peaches to a bowl of ice water for 30 seconds. Remove the skin with your fingers or a paring knife. Cut along the seam of each peach to the pit, running your knife all the way around the fruit. Twist each half in opposite directions to free one half from the pit. Remove the pit with your fingers or the knife.
- Coarsely chop half the peaches into 1/2-inch chunks, and toss them into a small saucepan. Add honey, and bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peaches are soft but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Puree the mixture using a blender, food processor or immersion blender. Set aside.
- In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together. Still whisking, drizzle in about one third of the hot liquid – this will temper the eggs so they don’t curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remaining liquid. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring without stopping, until the custard thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. The custard should reach at least 170 degrees F, but no more than 180 degrees F, on an instant-read thermometer. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and pour the custard into a 2-quart glass measuring cup or clean heatproof bowl. Stir in the vanilla and peach puree.
- Refrigerate the custard until chilled before churning it into ice cream.
- Scrape the chilled custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker, and churn according to manufacturer’s directions. While the ice cream is churning, finely dice the remaining 2 peaches, then, just before the ice cream is thickened and ready, add the peaches and churn to blend. Pack the ice cream into a container and freeze it for at least 2 hours, until it is firm enough to scoop.