Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Peach and Basil Ice Cream with Mascarpone

A couple's first minor appliance (see: crock pot, toaster, electric wine opener) purchase together is a big deal. Making a decision to buy something with your significant other says that not only can you agree on at least (this) one thing, but also that you see your relationship withstanding at least the limited warranty period of said item... So, for Rich and I, that special day where we took our relationship to the next level by putting a $50 price tag on it, came just after the three month mark. And with that purchase, not only were we ready to bet $50.00 dollars our love would last at least twelve months (barring user error or an act of God) we were also committing to gaining the "new couple 15" together... with our very own ICE CREAM MACHINE. 

We were really serious about eating ice cream... not as serious as we were about each other, though, because we got engaged 5 months later. Our ice cream maker didn't make it through the engagement (or it's own warranty period), but being the dreamboat that Richard Keith is, the week of our wedding I came home to a brand new, much nicer, commercial grade ice cream maker. You know, one of the ones that you lust over in Williams Sonoma.... Which of course made me want to make ice cream even more! 

So, with the monsoonal heat wave kicking in, it's time for my newest flavor...

summer peach and basil ice cream with mascarpone

With the hot weather in LA the past couple of weeks and my boarder line unhealthy obsession with peaches (I don't know if my mother deprived me of them as a child, but I just want to eat 9 a day) making peach ice cream was is a given. Right now there are about 10 in our fruit bowl at all times, causing me to be turning everything edible into some sort of peachy creation. They're being grilled, chopped, baked.... and I realized today that it was time for them to be frozen, too!

4 medium sized, ripe peaches
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup basil leaves
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
1 cup mascarpone


For the peaches: 
Preheat oven to 400 F. Bring a 4-quart saucepan of water to a boil. Drop the peaches in and boil for about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into an ice bath. Rub the skins off the peaches and discard. Slice the peaches in half with a pairing knife. Remove the pit and discard. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with foil. Lay the peaches pit-side up in the dish and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Roast for 30 minutes, until soft and glazed. Let cool and puree in a food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside.

For the ice cream:
In a 4-quart saucepan over medium high heat, combine the basil, cream, milk, sugar, and salt. When the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has just started to steam, remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and return to the saucepan.

Return to just a boil over medium-high heat. Take 1 cup of the hot cream and slowly drizzle it into the mascarpone, whisking until smooth and no lumps are left. Slowly drizzle the remaining hot cream into the yolks, whisking constantly. Whisk the egg mixture into the mascarpone mixture, and then return everything to the saucepan. Heat over medium-high for about 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Pour through a mesh sieve and cool over an ice bath.

Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, 3 hours or up to 3 days. Churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Spread half of the ice cream into a shallow, 2-quart dish with an airtight lid. Top with the peach puree and then layer the rest of the ice cream over the puree. 

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