After roasting strawberries (and using them to make gelato and frittata), I turned my attention to peaches, which is easy since I get them in my weekly CSA box. The peaches from Neukom Family Farm are justly famous. Having a steady supply of them throughout the season means that I can carry out experiments like the following one.
I started with the idea that I would roast peaches and use them to make ice cream. The inspiration for the custard part came from the recipe for Peach or Nectarine Ice Cream in my beloved (and recommended) ice cream book: Frozen Dessert by Caroline Liddell and Robin Weir. I didn't want the peaches to be utterly soft: I wanted the resulting ice cream to have a bit of fruit texture. After a few tries, I settled on this version (which of course may be further changed in the future).
- 1 lb (450 g) ripe and flavorful peaches (indifferent peaches make an indifferent gelato, so please look for tasty fruit)
- 1/2 cup (100 g) [ultra-fine] sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup (240 ml) non-fat milk (latte scremato)
- 1 large or extra-large pastured egg
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) vanilla extract of good quality
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream (panna da montare)
Heat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat that is wider and longer than the sheet, so no juice can escape from any side. Wash and cut in half the peaches — you'll most probably use two — then remove the stone (nocciolo). Place the peaches in the baking sheet cut side up. Take a tablespoon (15 ml) of the sugar and distribute it among the hollows left by the stones. Do the same with the lemon juice. Put the peaches in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Let peaches cool.
As you can see in the photo, the hollow fills with juice while baking. Empty the juice in the food processor. Remove the skin, put peaches in the food processor and pulse a few times: you want small pieces of peach (pesca) to remain detectable. Pour in a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Heat the milk in a saucepan until quite hot (but not boiling). In a bowl, whisk together egg and remaining sugar. Temper the egg with a bit of the hot milk, then slowly add the rest, while whisking. Put the saucepan on gentle heat, and stir the ice cream base almost constantly. You will notice a thickening. When a film forms over the back side of the stirring spoon (I use a wooden one), draw your finger across. If the line stays clear, the custard is ready. (If it overheats, it will curdle.) Remove the pan from the heat and place in a cold water bath, while stirring the custard. Once cool, cover and place in the fridge until thoroughly chilled.
When ready to churn, add vanilla extract and cream to the custard and stir well to incorporate, then add the peaches and stir some more. Churn in your ice cream maker until it reaches the consistency of gelato. Spoon into serving bowls, serve immediately and enjoy. After plating the ice cream, do not leave what is left over in the machine, but transfer it into a plastic container, cover the surface with wax paper, then put on the lid. Place in the freezer. Take out of the freezer half an hour or so before eating, so the gelato has time to soften.
This gelato has a delicate pastel color and a nice peach flavor. The first time I made it, I served it to six very obliging guests and the deep silence that fell around the table after I had finished passing the last bowl was a welcome signal of success. Are you wondering whether there is going to be also a roasted peach frittata? You bet!
This is my contribution to the event Veggie/Fruit a Month, the vegetarian event created by Priya of Mharo Rajasthan's Recipes and hosted this month by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook, who chose peaches as theme.
This post contains the roundup of the event.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the gelato di pesche arrosto audio file [mp3].
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