I’ve been holding out on you. Not intentionally. It’s been frenzied here lately and though I made this ice cream several weeks ago, I hadn’t gotten around to posting it. In fact, I made this as an homage to National Ice Cream month (July). I guess life got in the way. I’m sorry.
I figured I needed to publish this soon, otherwise the peaches would be gone and you’d have to wait until next summer to try this. Unthinkable. Anyway, here it is – a fabulous, creamy amalgam of summer’s sweetest peaches, bold honey, and a crunchy almond topping.
My favorite summertime desserts usually involve various stone fruits along with buttery crusts, crisps, or crumbles. I love that syrupy goo that comes from applying sugar and heat to oozing ripe fruit. In this ice cream, the same crunchy, cookie-like nuggets that I used to cover my cherry apricot almond crisp is repurposed here as the topping. I suppose I could have stirred the crisp into the ice cream machine, but, I’m a sucker for super crunchy things, so it just seemed right to sprinkle it on top.
For this dessert, I used honey that isn’t your average grocery store variety. It’s avocado honey, that boasts a dark, mahogany color and a deep flavor. I found it at our farmer’s market, but if you can’t find it — tupelo, buckwheat or saw palmetto would also be great substitutes.
The honey amplifies the sweetness of the peaches and adds roundness to the ice cream without being cloying. This luscious frozen treat rivals any premium brand ice cream out there. The crumble topping sends it over the moon for me!
Right now, there’s a devil on my shoulder telling me to remind you about the southern pecan caramel sauce, which would be insanely delicious with this ice cream!
- 4 peaches, peeled, pits removed, chopped
- 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup honey (I used avocado honey -- really dark and flavorful)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
- Special equipment: an ice cream maker
- In a medium bowl, combine the peaches, 1/4 cup sugar, honey and lemon juice. Toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for two hours to macerate the fruit.
- Meanwhile, combine milk and cream in a medium saucepan. Use a sharp knife to split the vanilla bean and carefully scrape the seeds out of the pod. Add the seeds and the pod to the milk mixture. Bring the mixture to a slow boil over medium heat, reduce the heat to a very low simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so the bottom of the pan doesn't burn.*
- Combine eggs, egg yolks and the remaining half cup of sugar in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg mixture until thick and pale yellow in color, about 1-2 minutes.
- Discard the vanilla pod from the milk mixture. Dip a glass measuring cup into the milk/cream mixture and scoop up about a cup. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the milk in a slow, steady stream to the egg mixture to temper the eggs without curdling them.
- When thoroughly combined, pour the egg mixture back into the pan and heat over medium low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the egg mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, about 5-10 minutes.
- Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic against the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate to chill.
- When both the custard and peaches are thoroughly chilled, place a mesh strainer over a small bowl. Strain the juices from the chopped peaches into the bowl. Stir the juices into the custard mixture. Reserve peaches.
- Use the custard to make ice cream according to your manufacturer's instructions. Five minutes before the ice cream is finished, add the chopped peaches to the ice cream maker to blend.
- Transfer ice cream to a storage container, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm.
- While ice cream chills, make the crumble. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. In a bowl, add flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and butter. Rub the mixture between your fingers until small crumbs form. Add oatmeal and almonds. Toss to combine. Arrange the crumble mixture onto the prepared pan in an even layer about half an inch thick. Bake for 12-15 minutes, stirring halfway through, until crumble is browned and fragrant. Remove from the oven and let cool. Store in a tupperware container or storage bag, tightly sealed.
- To serve, scoop ice cream into a dish and sprinkle liberally with crumble topping.
- * I have a gas stove which burns hot, so I use a simmer plate that I picked up for $20 at a cooking store. It disperses the heat more evenly, eliminating hot spots and allowing for a slow simmer.