bourbon peach ice cream

Bourbon and peach ice cream

It's the end of summer and the start of fall and I am absolutely, in no way mentally prepared for its arrival. This is also that part of the year when we squeeze in some quick last minute trips to enjoy what's left of the sunshine and warm weather. Last weekend we took a quick trip to the farm where we spent a wonderful weekend relaxing and simply enjoying some quiet time. Here are some photographs from my trips to Virginia. As always, I have so much fun on these trips to the Mouth of Wilson, the scenery is beautiful and the farms every bit idyllic. If you follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram, you will have seen some of the photographs that I posted of the farms that we passed and visited.

Young Billy Goats

These young billy goats were pretty curious about my camera, they would come up close with their inquisitive eyes and then run back the minute I moved. On the other hand the guineas ran away from me as soon as I approached. Differing levels of animal curiosity! 

Squash flower

Sugarcane Fields

Guinea fowl

My friend Tyler really likes the ice cream, I had him taste test it a couple of weeks ago along with the champagne peach sorbet when he brought me that huge bag of peaches from South Carolina. Tyler prefers ice creams to sorbets and this time when he brought me a second bag of delicious ripe peaches, he insisted that I share the recipe for this ice cream.

Melting Bourbon and peach ice cream

This bourbon peach ice cream is the perfect way to symbolize the end of summer and the start of fall and is probably going to mark the end of my summery fruit recipes for this year. Summery peaches and warm bourbon flavors are all rolled into a scoop of frozen ice cream making it ideal at this juncture of the seasons. 

Since peaches have a high water content, I cooked them down a little to get rid of some of the moisture content. As the peaches cook, their flavor intensifies and you will end up with a rich sauce with a delicious fruit butter-like consistency.  

The base of the ice cream recipe is adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice creams. 

Last summer peach

By the way, I love ice creams and photographing ice creams is even better because the clean up is always tasty! 

Bourbon peach ice cream

bourbon peach ice cream

yields: 6-8 servings

ingredients

4 cups peaches, fresh ripe, peeled and diced
3/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons bourbon whiskey
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces whole fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon madagascar vanilla extract

1. In a thick bottomed saucepan, heat the peaches and sugar on a medium-high flame. Bring the contents to a boil and then immediately reduce to a medium-low flame and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan and blend the hot sauce carefully in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Transfer the peach sauce back to the same saucepan and bring it to a boil on a medium-high flame, reduce the flame and stir continuously to prevent burning. Cook for another 7-8 minutes. The sauce should be thick, stir in two tablespoons of the bourbon. Chill the sauce completely in the refrigerator before folding it into the ice cream (the sauce should be at least 40F before use, I prefer to cool the sauce in a sealed ziploc bag placed in an ice-water bath)
2. Take two tablespoons of the milk and mix it with the cornstarch in a small bowl to form a slurry. Keep aside.
3. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a large glass mixing bowl and keep aside.
4. Bring the rest of the milk, heavy cream, sugar and corn syrup to a boil on a medium-high flame in a thick bottom saucepan. Reduce the flame to a gentle simmer stir constantly with a silicone spatula and cook for 4 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the hot milk and bring the milk back to a boil over medium-heat. Cook the milk until it begins to thicken slightly and covers the end of the spatula, about 1-1 1/2 minutes. Remove the milk from heat. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of bourbon and vanilla.
5. Carefully whisk the hot milk into the glass mixing bowl containing the cream cheese until smooth. Pass the hot milk through a sieve to remove any lumps. Transfer the milk into a gallon ziplock freezer bag and chill the sealed bag in an ice-water bath for 30 minutes, adding more ice if necessary. 
6. After chilling, pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister of your ice cream maker. Churn until the ice cream no longer sticks to the sides of the canister and it does not freeze anymore, this should take about 30 minutes (Alternatively, follow the instructions on your ice cream maker).
7. Layer the frozen ice cream into a freezer-safe storage container with an airtight lid and alternate with layers of the peach sauce. Do not mix the ice cream and sauce. Cover the surface with a sheet of parchment paper and press firmly against the surface to remove any trapped air bubbles.  Place the lid on the container and freeze until firm or at least 4 hours before serving.

champagne and peach sorbet

Champagne and peach sorbet

Over the past few days, you might have noticed a few changes around here, in terms of design and layouts. I felt that it was time for a change, that represented my growth and sense of style. I finally feel happier with my logo that I spent some time designing, it's not that I wasn't happy with the previous one but I didn't really feel the color scheme or the design too much. The new look really represents what I like in terms of design and styling. I have no professional skills in website design and most of what I know has been acquired through trial and error and perusing the internet. There will be a few more changes in the upcoming weeks, so keep an eye out and I hope that you will like them. I'd love to hear your feedback on the new logo!

Sweet Carolina peaches

Last weekend, I received a message from my friends who were driving back from South Carolina with a big bag of fresh ripe peaches for me, their only request make us something frozen (they got to try the black peppercorn, cardamom, raspberry sauce ice cream and wanted more). This time round, I wanted to do something different, a couple of ideas jumped into my head but for some reason all I could think of were bellinis. It also seemed fitting, since I have spent many a Sunday morning at brunch with them sipping mimosas or bellinis or simply just champagne. 

Fresh peach sorbet

This sorbet is not too sweet and has a light and airy texture which reminds me of the bubbles in champagne, which is something I was aiming for. The basic recipe is based on the sorbet from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jenni Bauer and I've tweaked it around a little. When selecting a champagne for the sorbet, use a good quality brand to give a rich and flavorful taste. 

Sorbet for breakfast

How did the taste test go? Well my friends loved it and had several helpings without my prodding them. So I think it passed the test and I hope you will like it too. I was being a bit goofy at first while styling the sorbet, then when I looked at the photographs, I could not make up my mind as to which one I liked more, the sorbet with the peach or the one without the peach. I uploaded both photographs up here for you to decide, so please do tell me which one you like better and why?

Peachy sorbet

champagne and peach sorbet

yields: 6-8 servings/ ~ 1 quart

ingredients

1 lb peaches, peeled and chopped 
2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup champagne

1. Puree the peaches in a food processor until smooth. 
2. In a thick bottomed saucepan, combine the pureed peaches, lime juice, sugar and corn syrup. Stir continuously on a low flame until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, fold in the champagne. Transfer the liquid into a gallon ziploc bag, seal the bag and chill in a ice-water bath for 20 minutes.
3. Once the sorbet liquid is chilled, pour the sorbet into the pre-frozen canister of the ice-cream maker. Churn for 30 minutes until the sorbet acquires a creamy consistency. Transfer the sorbet into a freezer-safe airtight container. Place a piece of parchment paper on the surface and pack it down to remove any trapped air bubbles. Freeze for at least 4 to 6 hours to firm before serving.

peach and black raspberry cobbler


Sometimes during our summers we would visit our grandfather's family home that was located a few hours away from the city. Since the house faced the port, we would watch the ships enter and leave the docks. Some days were spent on the sandy shores of the beach where we'd act silly and play in the water. The house also contained a big garden at the back and we would collect and eat plenty of fresh coconuts, mangoes, jackfruits, and cashews. We'd come back to the city with crates of fresh mangoes to potentially last us for the rest of summer but that would never really went as well as planned. Those were wonderful days. Later as time passed the house was sold and the bountiful garden was gone. A newer and larger building came in its place. We'd still visit but I secretly missed the smell of the old house and its fruit trees.


These days I get to relive my childhood summers and recreate them in a more grownup way. There are several beautiful vineyards and farms out in Virginia and Maryland. Fortunately for us, most of them are only an hour or so away from D.C. making it the perfect getaway. A few weekends back, we took a day trip down to the Hollin's farm in Virginia where we picked peaches and black raspberries among other fruits and vegetables. Coincidentally, August is also the National Peach Month and the orchards were loaded with all sorts and sizes of peaches. We picked more peaches than we could actually eat but that did not stop us from filling four pecks. Later we walked through the groves of black raspberries and picked the ripening berries straight off the vines. Some of them squeezed under the pressure of our fingers and stained our palms with a sweet and sticky purple color. By the time we were done, we had the car full with our "day's catch".


After sharing some of the peaches with friends and neighbors, I was still left with some 80+ peaches. Some I canned and froze and some that ripened fast we ate quickly. Still it is hard to keep with that many peaches and this is where my friend Alex came to my rescue. Alex was hosting an impromptu party at his home and he wanted a dessert. I told him about my peach overload situation and he suggested a peach cobbler for his party. To me this seemed like an answer to my prayers. A large peach cobbler for several people would use up several ripening peaches and so Alex got his peach cobbler.


The original cobbler that I baked Alex had only peaches in it. This second batch of individual cobblers that I later had Alex and another friend Daniel taste-test during the week used up the black raspberries in addition to the peaches we picked at the farm.


I originally had a delicious cobbler recipe given to me by Shelly that called for yellow food cake mix and jello. However, I made a few changes this time to the recipe and made my own crust. The first time I tried to make a crust, it didn't have the right texture and was too doughy. I used milk and water to make a wet dough which resulted in a tragic mess. The fruit filling was great but the crust lacked the flakiness  that was needed. I had earlier noticed that Shelly's recipe called for a dry dough mix rather than a wet dough mix that most other recipes recommend using. Perhaps the problem and the solution was the liquid in the fruit. I realized that most fruits are rich in water and I could perhaps use the steam of the cooking fruit to moisten and bake the dough while it cooked. This turned out to be the perfect solution to my problem. Frozen and chilled butter helped to create the flaky crust that I was missing in my previous batches.


This recipe makes about six individual 6" cobblers depending on the size of your baking dishes. You can also make one large cobbler. You can substitute the fruit with almost any fresh cherries, berries,  apples, etc. I have previously used both gelatin and cornflour to thicken the fruit juices but I find gelatin to give a better thicker and richer sauce. If you use cornflour, you should use two tablespoons and mix it with the fruit before filling the baking dish. 


The beauty of a cobbler is its no-fuss method and style. A cobbler is rustic and should be easy. I like to serve cobblers hot, bubbling with its juices and dripping from the sides. It should always look messy and sticky. Some people like to serve cobblers with ice-cream, I rarely tend to do so but if you do like ice-cream, I would recommend a plain and simple flavor like vanilla that does not distract from the strong fruit flavors.


peach and black raspberry cobbler

ingredients 

1 pint black raspberries
4-5 large ripe peaches (or 4 cups of chopped peaches)
1 vanilla bean pod
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar + 1/4 cup brown sugar for sprinkling on top of the cobblers
1 stick cubed chilled butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
6 individual sized baking dishes (about 4 to 6 inches in diameter)

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Peel the peaches and slice each of them in half to remove the stone at the center. Cut the peaches into large 1 inch thick pieces. 
2. In a mixing bowl, mix together the raspberries, peaches, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Using a sieve dust the cornstarch over the berries and mix well (the sieve helps to prevent clump formation and allows even mixing). Carefully scrape the vanilla seeds out of the pod and fold the seeds into the fruit mixture. Cover the bowl with a lid or cling film and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
3. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, butter, kosher salt, and baking powder and keep aside. 
4. Place the individual baking dishes on a baking sheet. Scoop around 3/4 cup of the fruit mixture into each baking dish. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the dry flour mix on top of the fruit in each dish. Randomly spread about 1 tablespoon of the chopped butter over the flour mixture. Bake the cobblers in the baking tray for about 45 minutes or till the crust is golden and crisp. Let them cool for 5 minutes outside the oven. Serve hot or warm with/without vanilla ice cream.