july 21, 2017
When I was a little kid, barely able to see over the ice cream counter, my dad gave me a few coins on a Saturday morning and I would leisurely walk to the neighborhood High’s Ice Cream to buy a sherbet cone. I loved the tanginess of orange and lime, and the pretty pastels of rainbow sherbet.What really shows my age is that back then you could buy a frozen treat with coins and that my parents let me walk to a store half a mile away! I’m taking a trip down memory lane by sharing this recipe for summer peach sherbet, with the added flavor of ginger for my grown up tastes.
Local peach season is here and when the roadside stands have greedy bees buzzing around the fragrant stone fruit displays, the time is right for loading up on peaches and nectarines. For this sherbet I used both yellow and white peaches. To add more blush color to the sherbet, a shallow X is cut onto the end farthest from the stem and the peach is plunged into simmering water for one minute. After a quick dip in an ice water bath, the skin peels away easily, revealing more color than if you had simply skinned the peach with a knife. This step can be omitted if you have peaches that peel easily, or if you want to save time.
Ginger and peaches go together like summer and ice cream, so we get a double kick with a good amount of finely chopped candied ginger as well as fresh grated ginger. I love the little bits of chewy candied ginger—try to find tender pieces and not thin, stiff slices. As with other frozen dessert recipes featured on River City Good Eats, an electric ice cream machine does all the work for you. A well chilled mixture will freeze best. No heating dairy with sugar today since I’ve gone the easier route with canned condensed milk. Got that tip and inspiration from a Martha Stewart Living recipe that recently caught my eye.
Did you know July is National Ice Cream Month? I didn’t until recently, but all months should be dedicated to the love of frozen desserts, I say. National Ice Cream Day was Sunday, July 16 and that day did not exactly pass unnoticed by me, as I was photographing (and sampling) this recipe. Ice cream is part of the frozen treat family, and that generously includes frozen yogurt, sorbet and sherbet, the latter made with fruit and some dairy. Sorbet is simply frozen sugar syrup with all manner of flavors and fruits, often with an alcohol kick to ensure a smoother, less icy dessert —think Chai Spiced Apple Cider Sorbet. This sherbet brings back pleasant childhood memories and I hope you find it memorable, too.
Ginger Peach Sherbet
makes about one quart
2 ½ pounds ripe white or yellow peaches, or mixture, about 7-8 medium
14 ounce can full fat condensed milk
1 heaping tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup finely minced candied ginger, lightly packed
- To get maximum color from the peaches, use this step, but if peaches peel easily or you are pressed for time, skip it : cut a shallow X on the pointed end of each peach (opposite the stem end) and plunge the peaches into a two quart pot of simmering water, steeping them for one minute and removing to an ice water bath, where they will briefly sit for a minute before being drained and then peeled.
- In food processor or blender, puree the peaches, in batches if necessary, and combine with condensed milk, grated ginger and vanilla in large nonreactive (glass or stainless steel) bowl.
- Chill this mixture at least 6 hours or overnight.
- With motor running, add mixture to electric ice cream machine and process until starting to thicken, about 15 minutes.
- Gradually add the candied ginger and process a few more minutes until all ginger is incorporated and sherbet is thick.
- Chill at least 4-6 hours or overnight and serve using moistened scooper for prettiest scoops.