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Here it is National Ice Cream Day, and I’ve got the perfect way to celebrate: Homemade Bourbon Peach Ice Cream with Buttered Pecans! Oh, YUM! Even if you end up celebrating a day or two late, it’s the thought that counts, right? Because, Bourbon – and, peaches. Well, and buttered, salted pecans. And homemade ice cream. These, my friends, are reasons enough, to celebrate ANY day. Need I say more?
And this ice cream recipe is even more delicious than it sounds! How can that be??? But, it’s true!
To make this recipe, I first had to decide whether to use some peaches I’d already frozen that were in my freezer, or try a shortcut, by using a jar of peach preserves.
Preserves or Frozen Peaches in Bourbon Peach Ice Cream?
I started my ice cream with a recipe base I found in my cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home After that, I added my own riff, in utilizing some peaches we’d frozen earlier in the summer. I chopped them into bite sized pieces, and then placed them (and their juices) in a sauce pan, over medium heat. They needed to simmer until the juices were reduced, and thicker, and the peaches were tender. But I think a wonderful shortcut, if you have no peaches in your freezer, would be to use a jar of peach preserves: the best you can find. You’ll need about a cup of peach preserves, or chopped peaches in sweetened, thickened reduced syrup. (The only reason I went with frozen peaches was because I had them in my freezer from when we bought a basket of peaches, and peeled and froze them. I needed to use them, and wanted to try using them in something other than a peach pie, or peach pit jelly. Starting this recipe with a jar of peach preserves would have been easier.)
Salted Buttered Pecans
Let’s talk about where to get some extraordinarily delicious pecans. I’ve recently begun a partnership with the Millican Pecan Company, the home of the MOTHER Pecan Orchard, in San Saba, TX. They are a 5 generation farm family! Their orchard pioneered the pecan industry in San Saba, back in 1888. I LOVE their pecans, and they don’t JUST sell pecans. I heartily endorse their Sweet and Spicy pecans, that go great on a salad, or are delicious as an appetizer. If you’d like to order their VERY reasonably priced pecans, or any of their pecan treats from them, please use my coupon code: SUSAW100
I roasted my pecans, because I wanted them salty and buttery, and roasting really enhances a nut’s flavor. I used 3/4 c. of pecan halves – breaking each half into 4 pieces – and stirred them with 1 tablespoon of melted butter and a half of a teaspoon of salt. I then placed them on a baking sheet, and roasted them at 350º, for about 10 minutes. Keep a sharp eye on these, so they don’t burn. what you want is aromatic, crunchy pecans. They will get even crisper as they cool. Let them come to room temp. You’re going to add these at the end, when you are layering the ice cream and peaches into the container.
The Recipe for Bourbon Peach Ice Cream
Here’s the recipe for the ice cream itself, which I made in a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. If you have a similar ice cream maker, be sure the canister has been stored in your freezer for at least 24 hours, and is frozen before you begin.
- 2 c. whole milk
- 1 T. plus 1 t. corn starch
- 1 1/2 oz. (3 T.) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 t. fine sea salt
- 1 1/4 c. heavy cream
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 2 T. light corn syrup
- 1/4 c. bourbon
- 1 c. peach preserves, or chopped peaches that have been cooked and reduced until juices are thick
- 3/4 c. broken, salted, buttered pecans
- PREPARE: Mix about 2 T. of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
- Whisk the ROOM TEMPERATURE cream cheese with the salt in a medium bowl until smooth. (I cannot emphasize enough that you really must whisk this a lot, or you'll have cream cheese lumps in your ice cream. Not the worst thing in the world, but, whisk the cream cheese more than you think you need to.)
- Fill a large bowl with ice, and water. (You're going to use this to chill the ice cream base before you pour it in your ice cream freezer bowl.)
- COOK: Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup in a 4 qt. saucepan. (Be sure your pan is tall enough, because you'll be bringing the mixture to a rolling boil, and boiling milk can overflow fast!) Bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, and gradually whisk in the corn starch slurry that you prepared.
- Bring the mixture back to a boil, over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring with a heat proof spatula, until slightly thickened. Watch the consistency as you stir. This should take about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- CHILL: Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the medium bowl that contains the whisked cream cheese. Whisk until smooth Stir in the bourbon.
- CAREFULLY pour the hot mixture into a gallon size ziplock bag. This is the part where I get my husband to help me. One person should hold the bag open, while the other person pours the hot liquid. (If you can figure out how to do this all by yourself, maybe by putting the ziplock back down inside a tall jar or a bowl and folding back the edges so they don't fall back on themselves, well, then, more power to you. I just prefer to have help, so no one gets burnt!)
- Zip the bag securely shut, and submerge it in your big bowl filled with ice water. Leave it to chill for about 30 minutes. Add more ice as needed.
- FREEZE: Pour the ice cream base into the frozen ice cream canister, and spin until thick and creamy. (Mine takes about 30 minutes for the ice cream to thicken and begin separating from the sides.)
- Put about 1/3 of the ice cream into a freezable storage container. Cover that layer with 1/2 of the peaches/peach preserves and 1/2 of the salted pecans. Add another 1/3 of the ice cream, and cover with the remaining peach preserves and pecans. Finish with the final layer of ice cream. Lay a piece of parchment paper directly on the surface of the ice cream, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
Adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home
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If you’re interested in some other wonderful ice cream flavors I’ve shared on my blog, you might want to check out these posts: