Peaches and cream is a classic for very good reasons. It’s a dessert that’s incredibly simple but scrumptious. There’s only one thing that could make it better, and that is turning into an ice cream. Here’s my take on this classic, a silky soft peach ice cream.
A generous portion of peach puree and chunks of fresh peaches went into this deliciously soft peach ice cream. It is all that peaches and cream are about. Silky texture, sweetness and deep fruity flavour.
I tend to make this when peaches are in season. Partly because that’s when they are more affordable but mostly because they carry more flavour. There’s just something comforting about the scent of fresh and ripe peaches, and you should use the ripest ones for this. In fact, the slightly overripe ones are the best choice for this creamy dessert.
This lovely ice cream is best served with some fresh fruit. While I chose the cheaper, overripe ones for the ice cream itself, I tend to splurge when it comes to dishing this dessert up. Whenever they are available I buy flat peaches; they are a little bit pricey but well worth it. They also go by the name Saturn peaches or donut (doughnut) peaches and while they carry less juice than the regular peach they are so much sweeter.
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk, can size: 400ml (13-15oz)
- 4 tbsp cane sugar, or any other light coloured sweetener
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp arrow root powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 750g very ripe and pitted peaches
- 2 tbsp cane sugar, or sweetener of your preference
- Pour the contents of the coconut milk cans into a saucepan. If it is the first time you use coconut milk in a can then don’t be alarmed by seeing a thick layer of rather a solid cream and a big part of milky water. That is normal. It happens because the coconut milk separates inside the can. Take a whisk and stir until everything is evenly combined.
- Take about 125 ml (1/2 cup) of the coconut milk out of the pan and set aside in a small bowl. Add the arrow root powder to the small portion of coconut milk in the small bowl. The arrowroot powder will make sure the base thickens once this is added to the bigger pan. Mix until it is perfectly combined and place aside for now.
- Return to the saucepan and add the 4 tbsp of cane sugar, salt and vanilla. Gently heat over low to medium heat and stir until the sweetener is dissolved and all is well combined. Heat until warm but not boiling.
- Pour the arrow root powder and coconut mixture into the warm coconut milk and whisk. Increase the heat to medium and keep whisking – don’t leave the pot now. Make sure to whisk it now and then while making sure the heat is not too high. It is crucial never to let it come to a boil.
- In about 5-7 minutes the arrow root powder will thicken the mixture, and you will be left with a beautiful ice cream base that only needs chilling in the fridge. You will know it is done when you can draw a line with a fingertip on the back of a wooden spoon.
- I chill my ice cream base in a small metal bowl and place a plate on top of it. You will have a small layer of skin forming on the top of the mixture though you can prevent that by stirring it every 10 minutes while it cools down. It is not necessary though because the processing in the ice cream machine usually takes care of it.
- While the ice cream base is cooling down in the fridge, split your peaches into two portions. Reserve 250g (1/2 lb ) of the peaches and place them in the fridge. Chop the remaining roughly up and the peaches with 2 tbsp cane sugar to a blender. Process until it is very smooth and no speckles of skin can be seen anymore.*
- Pour the puree into a saucepan and simmer on low heat until it is reduced to about ⅓ of its original volume. You can measure it in between to be sure if you want. Remove the puree from the heat and let it cool down.
- Once both the ice cream base and the peach puree have cooled down, peel and chop the 250g (1/2 lb) of the peaches that you stored in the fridge and cut them into little cubes, they will be added to the ice cream.
- Pour the ice cream base and the fruit puree into the ice cream maker and follow its instructions. When the ice cream is nearly done, add the fruit chunks and let the ice cream maker mix them in.
- Transfer the soft ice cream it to a container, scatter a few peach cubes on top if you want and cover it with wax paper. Leave the ice cream in the freezer for another 2 hours. Doing this will give you the perfect ice cream that can be scooped neatly. To serve take it out of the freezer for a few minutes to soften. Scoop it into bowls and serve with fresh fruit if you have.