An ice cream that's peachy

Cooking for Two

Summer is the season for peaches and cream, frozen and delicious

July 07, 2002|By Bev Bennett | By Bev Bennett,Special to the Sun

If you're like many shoppers, you work your way through a bin of peaches as if you're testing softballs for the neighborhood pick-up game. You squeeze and squeeze until you score a hit with a peach that gives to pressure.

Although softness is one indicator of ripeness, it isn't all you should look for. Choosing a good-tasting peach requires a combination of skills. Use your senses. Look at the fruit. Although some peach varieties are cream-colored, not blushing pink, none should be green-tinged. A peach with a green cast will never ripen to full flavor off the tree. Take a sniff. A peach should have a fruity and flowery fragrance. If the fruit smells slightly fermented, it's over-ripe.

Don't expect chilled peaches to have any fragrance. You'll have to bring the fruit to room temperature before you'll notice the aroma.

Next, give a peach a gentle feel to see if it's soft and ready to eat. If you're shopping at a farmers' market, you'll probably be offered a sample of what's being sold. That's the best way to judge a peach. Does it have a distinctive sweet and slightly tart peach flavor? Do the juices run freely? You don't want a mealy texture. If you can answer in the affirmative, stock up.

When you've eaten your fill of plain peaches, bring out the ice cream machine and prepare a luscious dessert. This ice cream recipe makes about one pint, enough for two peach lovers or four restrained dessert eaters. Serve the ice cream with fresh Raspberry Sauce and Coconut-Chocolate and Walnut Mac-aroons on the side.

Distributed by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate International, a division of Tribune Media Services.

Peach Ice Cream with Raspberry Sauce

Makes about 1 pint ice cream

If desired, you can use a good-quality commercially made peach ice cream instead of making your own.

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 cup milk

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 medium ripe peach, peeled and finely chopped

Raspberry Sauce (recipe follows)

Beat egg in heat-proof bowl. In small, heavy-bottomed pan, stir together cream, milk and sugar. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is simmering and sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.

Slowly pour half the mixture into the egg, stirring constantly. Pour egg mixture back into pan and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until mixture becomes slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.

Pour mixture into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. Process mixture in ice cream machine according to manufacturer's directions. Add chopped peach when mixture is thick, but slightly soft. Continue to process until firm.

To serve, scoop 1/2 cup ice cream into each of 2 bowls. Top with Raspberry Sauce. Serve immediately. Pack leftovers into 1-cup container with tight-fitting lid and freeze up to 1 week.

Raspberry Sauce

Makes about 1 cup or 2 servings

1 cup fresh raspberries

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 tablespoon raspberry liqueur, optional

In bowl, combine raspberries, sugar, grated lemon peel and liqueur.

Mash with fork until mixture is pulpy.

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