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Thursday, June 28, 2012 05:49 pm

Peach ice cream with a blueberry swirl

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (see my 10/22/11 IT column, “Ice cream art and science”) provided the techniques for this recipe; the flavor combination is my own. The blueberry swirl/compote also sings a delectable solo over vanilla or lemon ice cream, pancakes or waffles, or drizzled over pound cake.

I use a 1 1/2 qt. Cuisinart ice cream maker, with an electric base and frozen canister. There are other makes and models, ranging from $40 to $60. You can also make ice cream without one: Put the mixture into a shallow pan in the freezer; stir every 15 minutes until it’s frozen. The texture won’t be the same, but it will still be delicious.

For the blueberry swirl/compote
• 2 c. blueberries
• 1 c. sugar
• Finely grated zest from 1 medium lemon (about a scant tablespoon, loosely packed)
• 2 T. lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce to a simmer, cooking until the sauce thickens, 10-12 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate completely if using for the ice cream swirl. Serve warm or cold, by itself or over other things.

Preparing the peaches:
• 3 c. peaches cut into approximately 1-inch to 2-inch chunks, peeled or not (Peels give the ice cream a “peachier” color.)
• 3 T. lemon juice
• 1 c. sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the peaches with the lemon juice, then spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until they’re softened and starting to shrink; 10-12 minutes.

Cool until the peaches are just barely warm. Scrape them and their juices into a blender or food processor. Add the sugar; process until the peaches are puréed and the sugar dissolves. Refrigerate until completely cold.

For the ice cream:
• 3 T. cornstarch
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1 3/4 c. whole milk
• 6 T. cream cheese
• 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
• 3 T. light corn syrup

Combine the cornstarch and salt in a small bowl; whisk in 1/2 c. of the milk, making a smooth slurry.

Put the cream cheese in a large glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and put in an oven set on warm. Once the cream cheese has softened enough to be stirred easily (it should only take a few minutes), turn the oven off, leaving the cream cheese inside until needed.

In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the remaining milk, cream and corn syrup; bring to a full boil over medium-high heat. Boil four minutes, then remove from the heat. Slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture, return the pan to the stove, and bring back to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture slightly thickens, about a minute.

Slowly whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese, whisking until it’s completely smooth. Stir in the peach purée, combining thoroughly.

Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until completely cold. Putting the mixture into a gallon resealable plastic bag and submerging it in an ice-and-water-bath will hasten the process: the mixture should be thoroughly chilled in 30 minutes.

Pour the peach mixture into the frozen canister. Spin until it’s very thick and creamy. Meanwhile, put the container it will be stored in into a freezer. It should be deep instead of wide.

To finish the ice cream:
Pack the ice cream into the storage container: Make a layer of ice cream, add a layer of blueberry swirl, then another layer of ice cream, then the swirl, etc. Finishing with a spoonful of swirl. Do NOT mix.

Press parchment or plastic wrap against the surface. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours.

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