Well, I told you that I just might have one more peach recipe up my sleeve before I close out this series. And wouldn't ya know it?? I do.
Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month? It's true. On July 21, 1984, President Ronald Reagan recognized the popularity of ice cream in America by giving our favorite frozen treat its own monthly celebration. No matter what you political affiliation may be, you have to admit that giving Americans yet another reason to enjoy ice cream for 31 days was a pretty cool move for our nation's leader.
So what would a themed series of July recipes be without one in the ice cream category? I certainly don't want to come across as unpatriotic. I mean, if it was up to me, every month would be National Ice Cream Month, but I suppose that we need to give other desserts their moment in the spotlight.
Last year, I purchased a Chef's Choice Waffle Cone Express machine with a gift card. I always use gift cards to buy something that I would love to have but probably wouldn't splurge on with my own dime. Plus, the machine was on sale, meaning that I simply could not pass it up. It's like a rule, or something.
Anyhow, the machine sat in my garage until yesterday, when I was trying to figure out a creative twist on the peach ice cream that I had already made for this post. I'm still looking for some cute ice cream bowls that photograph well, and cones are much more fun anyhow.
I decided to play around with the basic waffle cone recipe that came with the machine because I can't ever just leave anything the way it is. So much more enjoyable to gussy things up a bit, yes? Since I love the combination of ginger and peaches, as seen with my peach s'mores recipe, I decided to give the cones a gingersnap twist using molasses, brown sugar and a trio of spices. Not only did they smell heavenly while cooking, but they tasted sweet and toasty, a perfect contrast to the cool, rich and fruity peach ice cream.
If you don't have a waffle cone maker, you will be just as pleased with this ice cream in a store bought cone, in a bowl or sandwiched between two gingersnap cookies. You can also form the custard into ice cream pops, using inexpensive molds like the one I found at Target. Whatever you do, hurry up! Start celebrating the national holiday by eating as much ice cream as you can between now and the end of July!
Put those fresh summer peaches to great use by making this sweet, simple and rich ice cream, taken to the next level with the addition of lightly salted toasted pecans. To really wow your crowd, serve generous scoops perched in homemade gingersnap waffle cones!
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
- 2 cups (500 mL) whole milk
- 1 cup (250 mL) heavy whipping cream
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (250 mL) chopped peeled fresh peaches
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) cornstarch
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (250 mL) chopped pecans
- 1/4 tsp (2 mL) salt
- 2/3 cup (150 mL) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger
- 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) molasses
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) milk
- Prepare the ice cream base: In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually whisk in the milk and cream. Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks. Gradually add about half of the hot cream mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly. Return the yolk mixture to the saucepan and continue to whisk over low heat until the mixture has thickened enough the coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes more. Whisk in the vanilla.
- Transfer the custard to a bowl and cover, placing plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Chill until cold, 5 hours or overnight.
- Cook the peaches and the sugar in a saucepan set over medium-high heat, crushing the peaches with a potato masher, until the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and lemon juice until smooth and add to the peach mixture. Continue to cook until the peaches have thickened, 1-2 minutes. Transfer peaches to a bowl and chill until cool, about 1 hour.
- Prepare the pecans: Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and cook, stirring, until they are lightly golden and fragrant, 5-6 minutes. Transfer pecans to a small bowl and toss with the salt; cool completely.
- Stir the peach mixture into the cooled custard. Transfer the custard to the freezer of your electric ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. During the last few minutes of freezing, incorporate the pecans into the custard.
- If not serving immediately (ice cream will still be soft), transfer ice cream to a container, cover, and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
- Prepare the waffle cones: Preheat your waffle cone maker (such as the Chef's Choice Waffle Cone Express) according to the manufacturer's instructions, setting the heat dial at either 2-1/2 or 3. Spray the surface lightly with nonstick spray.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
- In a medium bowl (preferable with a spout-easier for pouring!), whisk together the eggs, sugar, brown sugar and molasses until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture and whisk until incorporated. Whisk in the butter and the milk until smooth.
- Pour 3-4 tbsp (45-60 mL) batter onto the center of the waffle iron, spreading slightly with an offset spatula. Close the lid and cook for 1 minute before opening and checking the color. Cook for an additional 20-40 seconds, if necessary, until the waffle is deep golden brown.
- Carefully but quickly remove the waffle from the iron and transfer to a clean towel. If the waffle is too hot to touch, use the towel to help shape it around the cone form (usually included with the maker.) Hold the cone a minute or two until the shape sets, then transfer to a baking sheet or a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Serve ice cream in waffle cones!
If you want to make the ice cream into ice cream pops, as shown above, spoon the frozen custard into your ice pop molds after freezing it in the ice cream freezer. Freeze the pops overnight, until firm, and then carefully unmold!