Peach and elderflower ice cream

My boyfriend, a very smart man, picked up a surprise for my mom and I when we arrived in Denver.
Peaches.
Colorado peaches.
From a roadside stand.
See?  Smart.

The box (which was overflowing) was full of some of the tastiest, juiciest peaches I've ever had, and it cost a stunning $10.  What the whaaat?  Apparently peach season is a magical time here in the mountains.

The only problem with having huge amounts of delicious, fresh peaches is having to eat them all before they go bad.  This was a huge box of peaches for only 4 people.  But it would be such a shame to let them go to waste, so somehow we did it.  Peaches for breakfast, peaches for lunch, peaches for dinner, peaches for snacks, peaches and whipped cream, peaches in the freezer for smoothies... and peach ice cream.

Because who doesn't like peach ice cream?

After a week of working through the never-ending peach pile, the few left at the bottom were perfectly ripe, soft, and basically begging to be used in ice cream.

Except one that had gone bad (unbenownst to me, the innocent peach cutter), and when I cut through it, a big beetle was crawling around inside the rotten pit.  That one went in the trash.


Peaches are such pretty fruit.
Elderflower concentrate has a wonderful floral-y taste, which works beautifully with the sweet, ripe peaches.  It's mild, so don't fret about your ice cream tasting like roses.  This bottle is from IKEA - if you can't find it, no problem.  Try adding vanilla or almond extract instead for richness.
This ice cream is the real deal complete with heavy cream and sugar, and it's all about fresh, seasonal ingredients and great flavor.
This is where the magic happens.
Peach and elderflower ice cream
Adapted from Food Network
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts

2 cups fresh, ripe peaches
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup 1% milk
4 egg yolks
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp elderflower concentrate (optional)

  1. Wash and peel the peaches, then chop them into ~1/2 inch cubes and place in a bowl. 
  2. Stir 1/2 cup of sugar and the lemon juice into the peaches.  Cover and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight to let out the juices.
  3. Strain the peaches through a fine mesh strainer, reserving the juices.  Take half of the peach cubes and puree them in a food processor, then add to the peach juice.  Reserve the other half of the peach cubes (you can chop them into smaller pieces as desired - these will be the chunks of fresh peaches in the final product).
  4. Heat the heavy cream, milk, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a boil, then remove from heat.
  5. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks together to break them up.  With a ladle or a measuring cup, slowly drizzle 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture into the eggs while whisking to raise the temperature gradually and keep them from curdling.  No one wants scrambled egg ice cream!  Repeat this 4-5 times until the eggs are warmed.  Return the egg mixture to the remaining milk in the saucepan while whisking.  
  6. Place the saucepan back on the burner, and heat at medium-low, stirring often, until the mixture thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon. 
  7. Strain the cooked custard through a cheesecloth into a bowl to catch any bits of cooked egg.  Stir in the reserved peach juice, pureed peaches, and elderflower syrup.  Place the bowl over ice (or refrigerate overnight) to chill the custard thoroughly.  
  8. When the custard is cold (not lukewarm... not cool... ice cold!), freeze for 25-30 minutes in an ice cream machine, or according to the manufacturer's instructions.  When there are 5 minutes remaining, dump in the reserved fresh peach cubes. 

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