You guys. For REAL. This is the best thing I have ever made, ever. EVER.
Before I get too far into this, I have to say-- I am not an ice cream lover. Sure, I'll grab a pint of coffee-heath-bar-crunch every now and then, but generally speaking, ice cream just usually doesn't make the cut. It's not worth its weight in calories to me, when I could have cheese, or olives, or a nice martini. But this ice cream? It's in a league of its own. Sweet and tangy homemade peach buttermilk ice cream. I took one bite, and put my bowl down, walked away, and came back. It's so good I couldn't handle it. I just... well, I have no words for how good it was. I might not even finish this post without sneaking into the freezer for another taste. And I've already had thirds tonight.
You know, I honestly believe that canned peaches have practically ruined the taste of a real peaches for the rest of the world. There is no way a canned peach, although somewhat tasty in its own right, can ever prepare you for what a real peach tastes like. And they're not like bananas where they taste the same year-round. When you eat a peach, it is just... fresh. It is ripe. It was hanging on a tree mere days ago. And it tastes like summer.
It's stone fruit season in Northern California. Last week the farmers' market was overflowing with plums, apricots, cherries, nectarines, and peaches. My LORD, the peaches. I went to Greens and that goddess of a chef served me grilled peaches with fresh ricotta and sage honey. So this week, when my mom & I were at Whole Foods in Columbus, Ohio, and walked under the big banner advertising California Peaches, I raved like a broken record until she put half a dozen in the basket.
Honestly, A) if you live somewhere that grows fresh peaches and B) have an ice-cream machine, make this tomorrow. Your life will never be the same.
6 large peaches, very ripe (I put mine in a brown paper bag on the sun porch for 24 hours)
1/2 C white sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 C buttermilk
1 1/2 C heavy cream
1 t vanilla
Directions: Peel and chop peaches into a large bowl. Add sugars, cinnamon, and lemon juice, cover, refrigerate, and let macerate for several hours (up to 24, but allow at least 4-6). When you're ready to freeze, mash with a potato masher to desired consistency (I like some chunks, but you want the peach flavor to be evenly dispersed throughout the ice cream, too). Add buttermilk, cream, and vanilla, and freeze according to the instructions for your ice-cream machine.
Voila! Easy-peachy. My parents and I ate daintily from our glass bowls, then went straight into the machine with our spoons and kept eating and eating, and then licking our fingers, until I asked my mom if I could just stick my face straight in there for the rest. She, in no uncertain terms, let me know I would have some serious competition. There was a long discussion over who paid for the ingredients vs. who prepared the ice cream, and I believe the terms "summer pregnancy" and "labor" were thrown around as leverage, and rebutted with things like "favorite child" and "nursing home." Rest assured, however, that we all ended up with full bellies and sticky faces, and smiles all around.
Please, make this ice cream. Make it now, and thank me later. I promise you won't be disappointed.