Homemade Ice Cream

TwoJunes feel fortunate to live in Oregon where summer fruit rules!

TwoJunes: Lisa Bell and Nicole Rees Well, it was a little rainy this July weekend here in Portland, but that couldn’t stop TwoJunes from making ice cream. It’s one of those things where once the idea has entered your consciousness, the craving just wonít go away. Lisa has had a real hankering for peach ice cream after eating the first perfect peach of the year this week. Making ice cream transports her immediately back to her childhood in Arkansas, cranking that old-fashioned churn, and sucking on a piece of rock salt. Meanwhile, Nicole has developed a bit of a cherries jubilee addiction this year and we were out of vanilla ice cream. So, off to the farmer’s market we went!

Though we arrived just at closing time, we still managed to snag a big bag of yellow cling peaches, a little overripe, perfect for ice cream, and some huge, super-sweet Bing cherries for 99 cents a pound! These are the days we give thanks to have landed here in a fruit lover’s paradise.

Peach Sherbet Ice Cream with PeachesBoth of these recipes are no-cook, great when you don’t want to wait for a cooked custard with eggs or egg yolks to cool down or perhaps want something slightly less rich than French-style ice cream. All you have to do is whisk the ingredients together to dissolve the sugar, chill briefly, and fold in the beaten egg whites right before you get ready to churn. The Peach Sherbet recipe lets peaches shine as the rightful stars of the recipe with just a hint of Amaretto as a complementary background note. The Buttermilk Ice Cream is super tangy and relies on evaporated milk for depth of flavor, and is perfect against the sweetness of the Cherries Jubilee Sauce.

The egg whites help lighten the texture which is harder and denser than those of commercial ice cream since not as much air is whipped into the mix. Many store-bought ice creams also have texture improvers, usually gum derivatives that keep the ice cream from turning rock hard. On the additive danger/undesirable list, these are pretty minor, natural offenders, but there is no reason to include them, especially if you are going to eat the ice cream soon. Homemade ice cream usually comes out of the freezer bowl at a soft-serve consistency, so to get a nice firm scoop of, you usually have to freeze the finished ice cream for a while. If you’ve got really hard frozen homemade ice cream made a day or two before, a neat trick is to chop the hard ice cream into blocks and then toss the blocks into the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low until the ice cream smoothes out and can be scooped. This seems to improve the texture a bit as well, redistributing the ice crystals.

Next week,TwoJunes Go Whole Hog: Lisa Bell has wanted to roast a pig for years and with the aid of a borrowed Caja China firebox, we bypass having to dig a pit in the backyard and frighten our neighbors with leaping flames. Recipes, details and pics to come!

Lisa Bell is a freelance producer, writer and editor. She spent the first fifteen years of her working life as a pastry chef, recipe developer, test kitchen director, food stylist and print editor. She has also taught cooking classes, run a small cooking school, and worked as a food scientist. Nicole Rees currently works as a baking scientist. She is also a food writer and cookbook author specializing in baking science. Her most recent book Baking Unplugged, is filled with simple, scratch recipes that require no electric gadgets beyond an oven.

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