Sweet, summertime peaches deserve the glory of being bathed in cream and sugar and churned into the most nostalgic and fleeting of delectable ice cream flavors, only available when the fruit is at its peak!
This was my great grandmother’s favorite summer month dessert — I remember her waiting all year for Breyer’s to make it and then savoring one scoop after lunch with her iced tea, and it will forever remind me of her. I decided to gild the lily and top my scoop with the crunch of some delicious homemade honeycomb candy!
Prep time: 25 minutes + 8 hours chilling and setting
Cook time: 10 minutes + 35 minutes churning
3 medium ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped (about 2 cups chopped)
½ cup granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey, divided
5 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
Pinch sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cardamom, optional
½ vanilla bean pod split and scraped of seeds, pod saved for another use if desired
Coconut oil cooking spray, for greasing
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup CORN SYRUP (if doing the corn syrup method just add 2 tablespoons honey)
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon baking soda
Flaky sea salt, to garnish
Electric ice cream maker
9x13-inch metal baking dish
•A full 24 hours in advance place the bowl of the ice cream maker into the freezer to get very cold.
•Place the chopped peaches into a medium bowl and sprinkle with ¼ cup of sugar and toss to combine. Set aside and allow to macerate for 20 minutes or so.
•Once macerated, place everything into a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until finely chopped. Strain the peaches through a fine mesh sieve and reserve the syrup to the side. Place chopped peaches into a small bowl and place covered in the refrigerator to use later (these will be stirred into the ice cream at the end of the process).
•Whisk yolks in medium bowl with ¼ cup sugar until light yellow in color, thickened and foamy, about 2 minutes (this is called blanchir method, makes a lighter and creamy ice cream, whipping air into the fat). Set aside.
•In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the remaining ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup honey, salt, milk and cream and heat over medium-low heat until hot but no bubbles appear, 4 to 5 minutes. We don’t want the dairy products to scald here, so just heat until the point when the dairy is hot.
•Mount the bowl of whipped egg yolks on a damp kitchen towel so it doesn’t move, and gently temper the egg yolks with the hot milk mixture, add ½ cup of milk at a time while whisking constantly to avoid cooking the eggs. Continue adding in stages until you’ve added about half of the milk mixture.
•Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and place over medium-low heat again. While whisking constantly allow the mixture to cook another 3 to 4 minutes until 170-175ºF on a digital thermometer, the sauce will nicely coat the back of a spoon and when you run your finger down the center of the mixture on the back of the spoon, the line should be able to hold it’s shape (nappe).
•Remove from the heat and continue whisking. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl to get rid of any cooked egg pieces that could’ve resulted. Add the vanilla extract, vanilla beans, remaining tablespoon honey for a bit more honey flavor and sweetness, reserved peach syrup, plus cardamom if desired. We add the vanilla extract later in the process so it doesn’t cook out of the mixture while being heated on the stove. Taste the mixture here, it should have hints of honey, peach, and vanilla throughout the mixture.
•Once the milk mixture is warm (continue whisking to cool down quickly), cover and place into the fridge for 4 to 6 hours, stirring every half hour to full hour, until very very cold.
•Meanwhile make the honeycomb. Grease a 9x13-inch metal baking dish with coconut oil cooking spray. Line in a crisscross pattern with two pieces of parchment paper to make handles. Set aside. Have all ingredients pre-measured for this part, it moves quickly!
•In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan add the sugar, honey and water, stir to combine and heat over medium-high heat. Continue swirling the pan throughout cooking until a thermometer registers 300ºF, this will take 6 to 10 minutes so watch carefully. During this process the honey mixture will bubble and turn a deeper amber caramel color and be richly fragrant of honey.
•Once 300ºF has been reached, remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle over the baking soda. Carefully whisk to combine, the mixture will bubble up quite a bit so be careful! Whisk for 5 seconds until the mixture almost looks creamy and very bubbly, then remove to the prepared baking pan and DO NOT SPREAD, just gently shake the pan to even out the mixture using oven mitts since it will be hot! If you spread this mixture you are deflating all the bubbles in the candy. Allow to cool for an hour to two before breaking into smaller pieces to serve on top of the ice cream.
•Once the ice cream mixture has chilled nicely (this is called crème anglaise) then remove the frozen ice cream bowl from the freezer, add the ice cream and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions, about 30 to 35 minutes, until the consistency of a thicker soft serve ice cream.
BE SURE TO WORK QUICKLY HERE. THE ICE CREAM BOWL THAWS FAST, SO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS READY TO GO BEFORE REMOVING THE BOWL FROM THE FREEZER. Place the loaf pan in the freezer to pre-chill.
•During the last 5 minutes of churning, add the chilled chopped peaches and continue to churn for another 5 minutes (35 minutes total) to incorporate the peaches into the ice cream. Remove the ice cream to the chilled loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer to harden another 3 to 4 hours.
•If the ice cream becomes too hard, temper the ice cream at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with crushed honeycomb pieces on top.