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.

whiskey-kissed brown turkey fig cake


Strange things can happen! I was never a big fan of fresh figs while growing up and my dislike for dried figs was even more severe. However, now I find myself stuck with an intense love for the fruit, so much so that I planted a fig tree in my garden this past spring with the hope that I might have my own personal supply. Folks, as luck would have it, I have no figs yet but the tree is growing taller and taller. Thankfully, I have found other places that will satisfy my fig cravings. The farmer's markets and on occasion some of the little farm stores we run into when we drive out into the country. 


Instead of opting for a destination vacation for our Labor Day weekend, we decided to stay in and spend one day out in the country. The rest of the weekend I devoted to finishing up a couple of home projects which included making a console table and some floating shelves. We planned a picnic with our neighbors, Krysta and Travis and drove out to Little Washington in Virginia. Krysta packed up a delicious picnic for us and we made our way through a couple of vineyards, a whiskey distillery, and several antique stores. Yes, you have to squeeze in the shopping whenever you can!


The weather was just right (even at 90F) and even with the high humidity, we still had winds that kept us relatively cool. Most of the vineyard owners are friendly and will let you walk around the vines and explore. As you might have noticed, this is an image heavy post but I wanted to share some of the sights from our trip. 


My inspiration for this cake came from a few of the different things we sampled on our picnic, Krysta's figs and the whiskey tasting from the Copper Fox distillery. For some reason, the thought of figs and whiskey sounded deliciously decadent and indeed it is so! The baked figs and whiskey get a rich honey like flavor that melts in your mouth. Since figs are expensive (at least here in our area), I used fig preserves that are rich and packed with a concentrated amount of figs and flavor.


This cake is soft, moist, and buttery. I put the sliced figs about 20 minutes into baking the cake so that they don't burn and get bitter. This worked out perfect and the little amount of brown sugar on the surface helps to develop a sweet brown crust. The whiskey adds a gentle flavor to the cake and the figs become even "figgier"! Since the amount of alcohol is pretty small and as the cake is baked, I found no traces of any alcohol while eating the cake, the whiskey simply dehydrates the figs a little and helps in their caramelization during baking but it also gives a much more flavorful taste to the cake.


This cake will last for a couple of days outside but if refrigerated it should last for a little more than a week. A good quality honey bourbon will do wonders for the cake but any other whiskey should be equally good with the figs.


whiskey-kissed brown turkey fig cake

ingredients

6 fresh ripe figs (brown turkey figs or any other kind you can find)
50ml honey bourbon whiskey or any other whiskey
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups of a good quality fig butter/preserves (I used the Trader Joe's brand of fig butter-it is rich and dark and not overly spiced)
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon brown sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 350F. 
2. Cut the stems of the figs and slice them lengthwise. Add the figs to the whiskey and let them sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. 
3. Sift the flour and salt twice and keep aside. 
4. In a thick-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter and the preserves on a medium flame. Stir constantly till the butter and preserves are combined and smooth. Remove from heat and keep aside. 
5. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and with an electric mixer cream the eggs and sugar till they expand to four times its original volume. The goal here is to beat as much air as you can into the cake batter and this should take about 15 minutes if you use the high speed setting of an electric mixer. Pour half of the melted butter-fig mixture into the whisked eggs and sugar. Drain the whiskey from the sliced figs and pour it into the batter. For now, keep the sliced figs aside. Fold the batter gently with a spatula and then add the rest of the butter-fig liquid and combine gently. Do not over-fold the batter because you will lose the air that you have carefully whisked in.  Fold in the raisins.
6. Take an ungreased rectangular baking dish (12 X 10 inches) and pour the batter into the dish. Bake the cake in the preheated oven. The cake will begin to rise and brown as it bakes. After 20 minutes during the baking stage, open the door of the oven and carefully add the sliced figs across the surface of the cake (I like to space them out equally so I can later cut slices each having a fig on top). Sprinkle the brown sugar on the surface. Be quick and don't let the cake stay out for more than 2 to 3 minutes. Put the cake back into the oven and bake the cake till the crust is golden brown and the center of the cake is cooked. This will take another 20 minutes (A knife should come out clean from the center of the cake). Remove the baked cake and allow to cool to room temperature in the pan, before you serve. 

Disclaimer: I did not receive any financial compensation for the fig preserves from Trader Joes. All my opinions listed here are my own.