Peach and Toasted Pecan Ice Cream

One of my favorite things about summer is ice cream. I love it in every form. 
Late night runs to Sonic for half price shakes. 
Frozen yogurt with every topping imaginable. 
A huge custard cone that is so so creamy. 
Snow cones at the fair. 
And ever since I got my ice cream maker last summer, I LOVE making my own ice cream.

You know how lots of food bloggers love to hate specialized kitchen gadgets and appliances? Well I, dear readers, am usually not one of them. And right now I am NOT one of them. I want to use an ice cream maker to make ice cream, so shoot me. It's summer, it's fun and it makes me feel like I conquered the world when I see a whole tub of MY homemade ice cream. I strongly recommend you obtain these feelings as well by investing in a $50-$60 ice cream maker that will last you the next 20 years. You will be thankful you took my advice every time summer rolls around!

Okay, off my soapbox.

So if you don't have an ice cream maker (or the ice cream maker attachment for the Kitchenaid mixer) I am sorry. Life will go on. But I don't have an adaptation of this recipe so you can make it when you come to visit! Meanwhile go to Sonic or the fair and satisfy your craving for some ice cold goodness.

But if at all possible, make this ice cream. It is smooth and sweet but also has crunchy salty nuts in it. I also love that the peach flavor comes directly from peaches and you get bits of real peach as you go. Also, something about this recipe is so Southern and comforting, I love it.

The only drawback to all homemade ice creams is they take time! So you can't plan on having them right after you make them. This recipe has several easy steps but there is cooling between each step, so you need to be planning to have this about 2 days from when you start (frustrating, I know!). But I just started making mine one Thursday night so I knew it would be ready for the weekend.

 Whisk together your cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Add in milk and whipping cream. Let thicken for 10-12 minutes and then remove from heat. Then add some of the hot cream mixture to a whisked egg yolk, before adding the yolk cream mixture back into the main cream mixture.

 Next, while that cools, peel your peaches and then chop them up into small pieces. Cook them with the corn syrup over medium heat for a few minutes. Mash them up a bit and then let cool before adding to the cream mixture. Place peach cream mixture in the fridge for up to 1 day.

 Chop up your pecans into little pieces before adding to a small skillet with some butter. Toast, stirring constantly for 5-7 minutes, or until fragrant and color has darkened. Sprinkle with salt once removed.
 Once your ice cream mixture is sufficiently chilled, pour it into your ice cream maker and leave it for up to 30 minutes, or until thickened as in the bottom picture. Remove from the ice cream maker and gently stir in the toasted pecans. You could eat it now but it will be more of a frozen yogurt consistency than an ice cream consistency. For the true ice cream consistency, refreeze until hardened, usually 8 hours or overnight.

THEN, you get to eat it!!

Peach and Toasted Pecan Ice Cream
recipe slightly adapted from Taste of Home

Makes 1 quart


3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1 cup peeled and coarsely chopped ripe peaches (around 3 peaches)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Before you start: Make sure your ice cream bowl is frozen if your machine requires that!

Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk and whipping cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

Whisk egg yolk until slightly thickened. Gradually whisk about 1 cup hot cream mixture into yolk (we are trying to prevent scrambling the egg, yuck!). Add yolk mixture to remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in vanilla. Cool 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

 Meanwhile, cook peaches and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes. Coarsely mash, and let cool 30 minutes. Stir peach mixture into cooled cream mixture.
 Place plastic wrap directly on cream mixture (to prevent a film from forming), and chill 8 to 24 hours.

 Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat; add pecans, and cook, stirring constantly, 8 to 9 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Cool completely (about 30 minutes).

Pour chilled cream mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. For mine, I just add the mixture and just leave it until it hardens, around 15-20 minutes. Before transferring ice cream to an airtight container for further freezing, stir in pecan mixture.


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