Thursday, July 7, 2011

Peaches and Pop Culture- Peach Ice Cream

As I am standing in line at the farmer's market holding a weighty basket of freshly picked peaches in one hand, and a sweaty cranky child in the other, I decide I'm going to make ice cream.

Having recently discovered David Lebovitz's recipe for vanilla ice cream, I knew I had a winner.
A cure for the sweats and the cranks.

I hand the grower some damp wadded up bills that have been quietly residing in my back pocket and I find myself unable to shake the Peaches song by the Presidents of the USA from my sizzling brain. Although I'm certain they are singing of something quite different than fruity ice cream.

It gets me thinking about other iconic peach related references in pop culture.

Remember that Seinfeld episode where George professes his love of Mackinaw peaches, then gets completely grossed out when his girlfriend takes his discarded pit and savors it herself?
I never understood how he dated so many beautiful women.
Meanwhile, the gorgeous Elaine always seemed to get the men with...Ummmm... great personalities.
Perhaps George negotiated his contract better.

And of course the infamous Peach Pit, located in the zip code everyone around the world knows by heart.
Oh, that Dylan was so dreamy.
I begged my parents to move out West, but they opted instead for an all girls Catholic School.

And for those of us who treat The Simpson's as religion, there is : The Peach Song.
I have found that a Simpsons reference can be inserted into any conversation.
Seriously, any conversation.

Let's not forget Peach from Finding Nemo, and Mario's love Princess Peach.
Both lovely and enchanting to the G-rated crowd.
And their taxi drivers.

Roald Dahl must have loved them as well, for he immortalized a rather large one in James and the Giant Peach.
A childhood favorite that I eagerly read to my own children.
Although somewhat creepy when experienced through more seasoned eyes.

Peach Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half & half
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
1lb peaches- peeled & sliced (keep the peels & pits)
1 vanilla bean
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan over low heat warm 1 cup heavy cream, half & half, sugar and salt.  Add the scraped the seeds from the vanilla bean and the bean itself as well as the peaches, skins and pits and keep on heat until peaches are warmed through. (thin slices will heat faster). Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 30-60 minutes.

Remove peaches and puree.

whisk the egg yolks and slowly add the warmed saucepan contents into it, whisking the whole time. Return contents to saucepan, pour in the patiently waiting pureed peaches and stir over medium heat until the sauce thickens. Once it coats the back of a spoon so that you can run your finger through it and leave a trail behind, it is done.
You have just created a custard.
Pour remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl, place a fine mesh strainer on top, and set on top of an ice bath.
Strain the custard into the large bowl.
Add the vanilla bean and vanilla extract.
Cover and chill in fridge.
Remove the vanilla bean when ready to make the ice cream in your ice cram maker.

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