Did I mention I hate to let anything go to waste? Hate hate HATE it? So when I found out I could steep fresh peach pits in cream and make lightly peach scented ice cream I knew I had to do it. While my own homemade almond extract is not going to be ready until Christmas at the earliest I still have some store bought left over. There is nothing like the menage a trois of peaches, cream, and almond. It’s divine. Assuming you have an ice cream maker making ice cream at home is stupid easy. Its easier than making frozen custard, which is often mistaken for ice cream. Whats the difference you ask? Egg yolks, baby. Sweet, fatty, golden yellow, emulsifying egg yolks.
Ice cream can technically be made in one day, but I always give frozen custard overnight to chill. I do the same with any infused ice creams, like this one, so plan to make it the day before you want to eat it. It’s really really ridiculously easy to just steep some peach pits from your pie making at the same time you are making said pie. Let it sit overnight with your pie dough and then “spin” (the term used in professional kitchens for churning ice cream) your ice cream while you form your pie. You could spin your ice cream at the same time as your pie is baking but even with as awesome as the Cuisinart and KitchenAid ice cream makers are if the high heat of the oven makes your kitchen warm your ice cream will suffer. Avoid this issue by spinning your ice cream (a lovely hands off 20-30 minutes) while you are rolling pie dough, which also benefits from a cold kitchen.
David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop is my number two go to book for ice creams, and number one when I want to create my own flavor combinations. This recipe is an adaptation on his vanilla ice cream.
Peach Pit Ice Cream:
Makes 1 overflowing quart.
You will need a pot, a strainer, an ice cream maker, a spatula, and a freezer safe container that can hold at least 4 cups of ice cream.
2 cups cream
8-10 peach pits, unwashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup half n half
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Pour the cream, peach pits, sugar, and salt into a medium pot. Bring to a light simmer over medium heat, stirring so that the sugar melts and blends with the cream. Remove from the heat, cover, and allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator overnight.
- Add the half n half and almond extract to the peachy cream. Stir to combine.
- Turn on your ice cream machine and place a strainer over the entrance. Pour the ice cream base mixture through the strainer to reserve the pits.
- Churn ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. The ice cream is ready when it has doubled in size and looks like, well, ice cream. (The term for the amount of air that gets trapped in the cream making it fluffy and smooth is called “overrun.”)
Save those pits! While yes, the seed inside of the woody peach and other stone fruit pits contain cyanide, that doesn’t make them garbage. It also doesn’t mean you need to worry about it in this recipe as you are not cracking the pits open and are instead stealing away their leftover peach flavor.
Bonus Recipe: Almond Extract
But wait, there’s more! You can rinse and roast your pits at 425°F for 30 minutes, crack them open, and roast them for another 10-15 to allegedly make the amygdalin (the pit’s form of cyanide) inert, but I’m not sure that I trust that. So instead I make the initial roast, crack them open, and cover my eight pits in a cup of vodka to make homemade almond extract. You read that right. Almond extract is not always made with almonds. In fact its often made with bitter almonds, which have even more cyanide! Also they are infinitely more expensive than the pits you were going to throw away anyway. Cover your pits with vodka in a glass container, and store them somewhere cool and dark. Give the jar a shake whenever you think of it, and in 1 month you’ll have homemade almond extract, in 3-6 months you’ll have AMAZING homemade almond extract. Since you often only need a teaspoon of almond extract at most for a recipe that makes 48 cookies, a triple layer cake, or a couple quarts of ice cream I feel safe with those amounts of residual cyanide. I don’t however make cocktails with the stuff like some (often French or Turkish) people do even though you’d have to eat about 10 whole pits (the whole jar at once) to start experiencing serious issues.