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How to Make Homemade Peach Custard Ice Cream

FlourishAnyway shares her mother's secret Southern recipe. You'll never go back to store-bought ice cream! (You're welcome!)

Mmm, mmm, good... Worth the splurge! Great recipes like this start with good quality ingredients: mouth-watering peaches, cream, milk, and eggs. This ice cream will have folks coming back for second helpings—or more!

Mmm, mmm, good... Worth the splurge! Great recipes like this start with good quality ingredients: mouth-watering peaches, cream, milk, and eggs. This ice cream will have folks coming back for second helpings—or more!

Characteristics of a Ripe Peach

A ripe peach has the following qualities:

  • Good Background Coloring With No Green: On traditional yellow peach varieties, look for background colors of bright yellow to orange. On white varieties, look for a white-to-cream background as an indication of a mature fruit. Try to spot any unwanted traces of green along the stem end. However, do not rely on the red blush as an indication of ripeness, as this is simply part of the natural coloring of the peach.
  • Feel Tender: Remember that this is a soft juicy peach, not a hard apple! Your peach should have a little bit of give when you press it gently, but it shouldn't be mushy either.
  • Smell Sweet: Go ahead—smell it. If the peachy scent is appealing and vivid, this is a great sign!
  • Unbruised and Unwrinkled: Peaches are delicate and therefore damage easily. Select peaches that are unbruised, and cut out any damaged spots before eating or using them in recipes. Wrinkled skin is a sign of age. Pass those up.

Is the Peach "Finger Ripe?"

Juicy, delicious peaches are typically in peak season in the United States from June through August. Test a peach's ripeness by very gently holding it between your thumb and middle finger.

Apply subtle pressure using the soft pads of your fingers. If the flesh moves, it is "finger ripe," and you can eat it today or tomorrow. However, if the flesh is still firm, either pass this peach up or wait a few days while it ripens.

Don't settle for anything less than the freshest, best-tasting fruit.

Don't settle for anything less than the freshest, best-tasting fruit.

Peaches Ripen Faster in a Brown Bag

To facilitate ripening, store your peaches in a paper bag—never plastic—on the kitchen counter until the peaches reach your desired level of softness. Just fold the bag over loosely.

Usually, a couple of days should do the trick. Fruit ripens in the presence of ethylene, a naturally-occurring gas in the fruit (which you are trapping in the bag).

There is nothing quite like the sweetness and temptation of a ripe, fresh peach.  Absolutely delicious! Except, of course, homemade peach custard ice cream.

There is nothing quite like the sweetness and temptation of a ripe, fresh peach. Absolutely delicious! Except, of course, homemade peach custard ice cream.

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 hour

10 min

1 hour 10 min

Makes about 1 gallon (3.8 L) of ice cream

Ingredients

  • 1 12-oz. can (354 mL) evaporated milk
  • 1 pint (473 mL) half & half milk
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 pint (473 mL) whipping cream
  • 2 14-oz. cans (414 mL) sweetened condensed milk, Eagle Brand
  • 1 Tablespoon (~15 mL) vanilla extract
  • 4 cups (946 mL) ripe, fresh peaches, finely chopped

Also Needed:

  • Ice cream churn
  • 5-pound bag of ice
  • Rock salt (not table salt)
No grocery store ice cream comes close to this homemade recipe.

No grocery store ice cream comes close to this homemade recipe.

Instructions

  1. Prepare the cooked custard approximately one hour in advance of making your ice cream. Over medium heat, mix the first three ingredients (evaporated milk, half & half, and well-beaten eggs) in a saucepan. Use a whisk to stir constantly until hot and slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
  2. Cover the mixture, and allow it to cool in the refrigerator about an hour.
  3. While the custard is cooling, finely slice then mash your peaches so they will disperse evenly throughout the ice cream during freezing.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and the peaches. Stir well, then fold in the cooled custard mixture.
  5. Pour the mixture into your ice cream freezer unit, adding rock salt and ice outside the metal freezing unit. Begin churning, following the manufacturer's directions for your freezer. Be careful not to allow any of the salty water to enter the metal freezing unit.
  6. If you take the ice cream out of the metal freezing unit immediately after it is done, it will be the consistency of a thick milkshake. Allow the ice cream to sit a few more minutes before serving if you prefer ice cream with a firmer consistency.

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Health Benefits of Peaches

Peaches are nature's candy. Even better is that these delicious treats are healthy! With less than 60 calories for a medium-sized peach, here are some of the other benefits of this fruit:

  • Cholesterol-free
  • Sodium-free
  • Virtually fat-free
  • A good source of dietary fiber
  • A good source of vitamin A, niacin and potassium
  • An excellent source of vitamin C

Fun Facts About Ice Cream

QuestionAnswer

What day of the week is ice cream most often purchased?

Sunday.

What age groups eat the most ice cream?

Kids ages 2-12 and adults over 45.

What are the most popular ice cream flavors?

Vanilla, chocolate, butter pecan, strawberry, and mint chocolate chip.

What percentage of people eat their ice cream with their pet?

Only 5% admit to doing so; more men than women let their pet lick the bowl.

When is National Ice Cream Month in the United States?

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan named July National Ice Cream month. National Ice Cream Day is celebrated the third Sunday in July.

What country eats more ice cream per capita than any other?

The United States, followed by New Zealand.

The Peachoid in Gaffney, South Carolina is a giant water tank in the shape of a peach.  It is a novelty roadside attraction off Interstate 85.

The Peachoid in Gaffney, South Carolina is a giant water tank in the shape of a peach. It is a novelty roadside attraction off Interstate 85.

A Little Peach History

Gaffney, South Carolina is a town of 13,000—and that's if you count visitors. I spent much of my childhood there but have long since moved on. However, when folks ask where I'm from, all I have to do to is mention the famous Peachoid.

Anyone who has traveled I-85 from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Atlanta, Georgia, knows the novel landmark well. There are the looky-loos who take photos, the jokes about its butt-like appearance, and even a Flickr group dedicated to Peachoid photos.

Laugh all you want. Peaches are serious business in these parts.

The tower was built in 1981 when the city's Board of Public Works commissioned the one-million-gallon tank. They sought to highlight the significance of peach farming to the local economy.

At that time, Cherokee County amazingly produced more peaches annually than the state of Georgia. Gaffney is the county seat.

Peaches were widely introduced to South Carolina's agricultural economy in the early 1900s as an alternative to row crops. South Carolina is currently the second-leading producer of peaches behind California. Georgia is third.

Next time you're traveling I-85, pull over and grab your camera between exits 90 and 92. Better yet, help the local folks out and stop for a bite to eat in Gaffney.

Sources

1Wenk, Ben. "FAQ: Choosing Fresh Peaches." Three Springs Fruit Farm. Last modified July 15, 2009. http://www.threespringsfruitfarm.com/blog/2954.

2POPSUGAR Food. "How To Ripen Peaches Faster." POPSUGAR Food. Last modified June 19, 2007. http://www.yumsugar.com/How-Ripen-Peaches-Faster-327447.

3Slemmer, Blake. "Peach facts and picking tips." Benivia, LLC. Accessed August 2, 2013. http://www.pickyourown.org/peachpickingtips.htm.

4Los Angeles Times. "Peaches and nectarines: How to choose, store and prepare." latimes.com. Last modified 2013. http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-peaches-and-nectarines-s,0,4441969.story.

5Scutti, Susan. "Health Benefits Of Peaches: Calories And Other Nutritional Information." Medical Daily. Last modified June 12, 2013. http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/16467/20130612/health-benefits-of-peaches-low-calorie-fruits-bioactive-compounds-healthy-fruits.htm.

6Stein, Natalie. "Nutritional Benefits Of Peaches." LIVESTRONG.COM. Last modified June 4, 2011. http://www.livestrong.com/article/462942-nutritional-benefits-of-peaches/.

7Wood, Jennifer M. "12 Strange-But-Real Ice Cream Flavors." Mental Floss. Last modified July 16, 2013. http://mentalfloss.com/article/51703/12-strange-real-ice-cream-flavors.

8Harness, J. (2010, July 13). The Weirdest Ways To Celebrate Ice Cream Month. Retrieved from http://www.neatorama.com/2010/07/13/the-weirdest-ways-to-celebrate-ice-cream-month/#!5U73c.

9Wikipedia. "Peachoid." Last modified August 2, 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peachoid.

10South Carolina Department of Agriculture - Welcome. "South Carolina Department of Agriculture - Historical Retrospective of SC's Peach Industry." Last modified 2013. http://agriculture.sc.gov/content.aspx?ContentID=756.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 FlourishAnyway