Sunday, August 23, 2009

This might possibly be . . .

The best ice cream EVER.
Yes, it is a bold statement . . . but I believe it to be true. I saw this recipe a year ago, on the blog of the very talented Emiline. It has been on my 101 list since then, and the combination of company last weekend and fresh peaches finally pushed it up on the priority list. This may not make sense, but it is so good that I both a) wish I had made it last summer and b) wish I had never made it at all. Why? Because all ice cream I make will now be compared to this, and honestly, I can't imagine what would top it. The flavors balance perfectly - it is sweet, tart, creamy, and occasionally crunchy and salty (when you get a walnut) all at once.

Buttermilk Frozen Custard with Bourbon Brandy Roasted Peaches and Brown Sugar Walnuts (Original recipe by Emiline; slightly adapted version below)

1 1/2 cups buttermilk
6 large egg yolks
3 cups heavy cream or half-and-half (I used 1.5 cups of each)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
6 tablespoons brown sugar, divided use
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup coarsely chopped firm ripe peaches, peeled
2 tablespoons Brandy

Whisk together buttermilk and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl.

Whisk together cream and sugar, in a large saucepan, over medium heat, and bring mixture to a boil. Gradually whisk half of the hot cream into eggs, until well combined. Whisk egg mixture back into saucepan containing remaining cream. Heat mixture, whisking constantly, until custard coats the back of a spoon.

Strain custard into a large mixing bowl, and whisk in vanilla.
Cool custard for 30 minutes; lightly cover and refrigerate overnight.

To make the brown sugar walnuts, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet, over medium heat. Stir in 3 tablespoons brown sugar, salt and walnuts, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved, and walnuts are golden and fragrant. Pour into a small bowl and cool completely.

To make the peaches, melt the additional 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet, over medium heat. Stir in the additional 3 tablespoons brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Add peaches and Bourbon, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender and syrupy. Pour into a small bowl and cool completely.

Pour custard into ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's directions. In the last 5 minutes of processing, add walnuts and peaches, and allow to finish churning. Pour into a freezer-proof container and freeze for 2 hours, or until ready to serve.

Yield: 8 servings
Source: Visions of Sugar Plum, by Emiline - check it out, she has amazing treat recipes!

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