I don’t know who came up with the peach-ginger flavor combination first, but whoever put them together is a genius! I bought a quart of peaches at the farmer’s market on Saturday, knowing that I wanted to turn them into ice cream, once they’d fully ripened.
Peaches in season, and locally grown are one of my favorite fruits – I love when you walk into the kitchen and catch a whiff of the perfectly ripe, perfumey orbs. The town where my parents grew up, Romeo, Michigan, has a Peach Festival every year. I have fond memories of going to the Peach Parade with Grandma and Grandpa, and then digging into some warm peach cobbler or peach pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The Peach Festival also had a carnivale, but Mom & Dad never told us about that, so I didn’t learn about that until I was a teenager and my first boyfriend and I went to the carnivale! But now that I’m an adult, I’d skip the carnivale, too – peachy desserts are far better than some carny rides.
As I was making this ice cream base, it needed a bit of brightness, so I squeezed in the juice from half a lemon, which really sharpened the flavor of the fresh peaches…but then I started thinking about a spicy note, and ginger was just the thing! I added about a tablespoon of fresh ginger to the ice cream base when I made it, but after it sat in the fridge overnight, the coconut milk swallowed most of the gingery flavor, so I added another tablespoon or so of fresh ginger right before I churned the ice cream. I also added a small handful of chopped crystallized ginger right at the end of the churn, and that added a lovely, chewy ginger note to the finished dessert.
5 large, ripe peaches
2/3 cup sugar
1 can coconut milk
2 T fresh grated ginger
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
2 T good quality tequila
juice of half a lemon
- Place a medium pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Place a few peaches at a time into the boiling water for 1 minute, then remove the peaches and peel them when they’re cool enough to touch. Slice the peaches into chunks.
- Place the peaches, coconut milk, sugar, tequila and lemon juice in the blender and puree until smooth. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge.
- When you’re ready to churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker, grate 2 T fresh ginger right into the base, stir and then churn. (If you add the ginger right when you puree everything up, the coconut milk will mute the ginger flavor while the ice cream base chills. When the ice cream is just about done turning in the machine, add the chopped crystallized ginger to the ice cream and let it churn for a minute more before you stash the finished ice cream in the freezer.