Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Homemade Fresh Chunky Peach Ice Cream

One of the best things about summer is the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. Farmer's markets and roadside stands boast baskets of all sorts of beautiful, tempting regional produce. Georgia is called the Peach State but the area where we live in South Carolina grows the most juicy, sweet and delicious peaches you could ever hope to eat. The month of July, particularly around Independence Day is when the best (in my opinion) are ripe and ready to be harvested and sold.
Home-Churned Fresh Peach Ice Cream

Our family eagerly anticipates the appearance of those beautiful peaches!
South Carolina Grown Freestone Peaches
There are all sorts of delicious ways to prepare and eat this luscious and delectable fruit. They are simply scrumptious when peeled and sliced like this:
Peeled and Sliced Freestone Peaches
You can add a splash of milk or coconut milk and a little sugar, but it really is not necessary. They are so very sweet and satisfying. Eaten fresh they are quite good for the health. Peaches contain lots of vitamins A and C and minerals, such as potassium. The average peach is said have around 68 calories and is quite low in sodium,  The peach is a good source of fiber and has very little saturated fat and cholesterol.

Having said all that and touting all the great ways peaches are good for you, it is a simple fact that, as healthy as peaches are, some people also enjoy their peaches in various forms of desserts. I admit that, as much as I enjoy biting straight into a juicy peach, I am crazy for them in desserts.

Do you like peach ice cream? We do in this family! There is no better ice cream than freshly churned ice cream. Especially home-churned ice cream!

Our churn is not powered by electricity. Nope, it is powered by muscle! We have had our churn for many years, so it is old. This is a picture of our old ice cream churn, surrounded by some of the other things we enjoy around the Fourth of July, like watermelon and peanuts for boiling!
Our Old Ice Cream Churn 
Our two daughters and their families came over the day before Independence Day to pick blueberries. Because of arthritis in my hands, I am not as good as I once was at powering our old churn myself, so I went ahead and got everything ready for making ice cream. I was sure I could get the grand kids to help with the churning after they finished picking berries.


I purchased the necessary ingredients, including ice cream salt and had plenty of crushed ice in the freezer. I folded an old towel and put it on top of the churn and I dutifully sat on top of the churn to keep it in one spot while the cream was being churned. My two grandsons turned the crank until that beautiful Fresh Peach Home-Churned Ice Cream was to the point of  "ripening"(solidifying or hardening) in the churn. Was it ever good! It was so rich and creamy and full of chunks of fresh, sweet peaches. Just the way we like it!
Homemade Fresh Peach Ice Cream

Homemade Fresh Peach Ice Cream

Homemade Fresh Peach Ice Cream

Homemade Fresh Peace Ice cream

Homemade Fresh Peach Ice Cream

The gorgeous Freestone peaches used in my recipe were purchased from Sara's Roadside Stand in the Edgefield County/Trenton, South Carolina area. Go here to see more about Sara's. I took a few photos the day we bought peaches.
Sara's Roadside Stand, Edgefield, South Carolina
Sara's Roadside Stand, Edgefield, South Carolina

Sara's Roadside Stand, Edgefield, South Carolina


Sara's Roadside Stand, Edgefield, South Carolina

Sara's Roadside Stand, Edgefield, South Carolina

The following recipe is the one I used to make this Homemade Fresh Chunky Peach Ice Cream. 

NOTE: You will need a hand-cranked or electric freezer/churn, rock salt and crushed ice.

HOMEMADE FRESH CHUNKY PEACH ICE CREAM

INGREDIENTS:

5 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups peeled fresh peaches, coarsely chopped
5 cups whole milk

DIRECTIONS:

  • Beat eggs with electric mixer at medium speed until frothy; add 1-1/2 cups sugar to eggs and beat well. Add condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla and mix well. 
  • Pour the egg mixture into a large, heavy sauce pan. Using medium heat and stirring constantly, cook the mixture until it comes to a boil. Being careful not to allow mixture to scorch or stick to bottom of pan, continue to stir constantly and boil for one (1) minute. Remove mixture from heat and allow it to cool. Mixture will be a custard-like consistency when cool. 
  • Combine the fresh chopped peaches with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar.
  • Add peaches to the cooled cream mixture.
  • Pour cream/peach mixture into the container of a hand-turned or electric 5-quart freezer/churn.
  • Add 5 cups of milk.
  • Freezer/churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Crank, Crank and Crank some more!
  • Open freezer/churn. remove lid and pull dasher out of the freezer container, scraping the ice cream from the sides of the dasher and back in to the container.
  • Place lid back on container
Add additional ice and rock salt and let ice cream stand for about 1 hour before serving or, if you like a soft-serve consistency you can serve in a little less than 1 hour.
This recipe makes about 1 Gallon of ice cream.

If you like your peach ice cream with chunks of fresh peaches, it is for certain you will like this recipe for Homemade Fresh Chunky Peach Ice Cream.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for Fresh Peach Ice Cream!

I am joining

Sunday, July 12, 2015

It's Blueberry Picking Time!

We currently have a couple of blueberry bushes in our yard. It took those bushes a decade or so, being moved around a couple of times and the addition of a little fertilizer but, finally, several years ago they began blessing us with a bountiful supply of berries. Enough so that family and friends can enjoy picking, eating and cooking with them.

Like most children, our grandchildren enjoy the experience of picking berries and they usually come over at least once during the season to do a little berry picking. Last week, they arrived to have some fun picking berries together.

We have had some temperatures in the high nineties for the better part of the past several weeks but in spite of the high temps and southern humidity, our grandchildren managed to get out there and pick some berries. Did they ever! They all came on the same afternoon and I was able to snap a few pictures of them in action. It was about as hot as a fire-cracker on this day, but they seemed to be having fun any way. 
Picking Blueberries Summer 2015
After several years of picking, they have become pretty expert at knowing just which ones are ripe and ready to pick!
Blueberry Picking Time

The boys enjoy picking too! The older of our two grandsons, Glenn, got in on the action.
Grandson Number One Enjoys Picking Berries
Granddaughter Number One and Grandson Number One Picking Together

And Stephen did some picking too.
Stephen Likes Picking Berries Too

Blueberry picking can sometimes be serious business.

Glenn.
Glenn


Stephen.
Stephen.
A few more shots of the blueberry picking process.
Blueberry Time!
Blueberries!
Our Daughter

Berries, Berries, Berries!
Sisters Picking Blueberries
Little Sissy to the Boys!
The fruits of labor and fun!
Sweet and Delicious Blueberries
It really does not get any better than a day spent with our grandchildren, all together, having fun at Mimi's and Da's house.

We had purchased some fresh peaches the day before picking day so, after the kids finished picking blueberries, we went inside the house to cool off and whip up a churn full homemade fresh peach ice cream.! Was it good? Was it divine? Yes, yes it was!