About this time last year, as my brand-new husband and I were lugging our, well luggage, through the train station in Rome on the last leg of our honeymoon, I made a declaration. “Everyday we’re here,” I pronounced, “I’m going to eat gelato. Or sorbet.” I mean, you know, when in Rome….True to my claim, I did in fact eat gelato every day, sometimes twice a day! Our favorite place to indulge, Giolitti, is the very same gelateria Gregory Peck took Audrey Hepburn to in “Roman Holiday.” We figured, if it’s good enough for Audrey, it’s good enough for us.
And boy, did we ever hit the gelato jackpot on that place. Aging, regal Italian men, dressed in white jackets with epaulets and crisp black trousers served frozen concoctions on silver trays with glass carafes of water to cleanse sugar-coated tongues. Once stateside, I became obsessed with the idea of having gelato and sorbet on a regular basis. We ate our way through the Ciao Bella selections available at our local natural food store. At a cousin’s wedding in Philadelphia, we hit every Capogira in the city. Still, I craved more, MORE! And so it was that I came to own the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence 2 Qt. Frozen Yogurt-Sorbet & Ice Cream Maker, or, more aptly, “Bliss In a Box.” This lovely cube of wire and stainless steel has churned out, to date, pistachio gelato, lemon verbena ice cream, earl grey ice cream, avocado ice cream (squished into a brain mold for our Halloween Mad Scientist party, no less!!) and, just the other day, peach ice cream, using local, organic South Carolina white peaches. A tricked out ice cream machine isn’t even completely necessary for getting the job done. Time in the freezer can help any mixture set up. It may not produce a hard, scoopable ball of creamy perfection, but on a hot summer day, when even the cats are splayed out on the marble countertop in search of any cool space, it will take care of you. Arrivederci!
Peach Ice Cream
-adapted from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book, by Bruce Weinstein
-4 large ripe peaches, peeled and pitted, cut into eighths
-Juice of 1/2 lemon
-1/4 tsp. slat
-2/3 c. sugar
-2 large eggs
-2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
-1 c. milk
-1 c. heavy cream
-1/2 c. peeled, chopped peaches (optional)
Place peaches, lemon juice and salt in blender. Mix until well pureed. Set aside.
Beat sugar into eggs in medium mixing bowl until pale and yellow. Incorporate flour. Set aside.
Bring the milk to a simmer in a heavy medium-sized saucepan. Slowly beat hot milk into egg and sugar mixture. Pour entire contents back into pan and simmer over low heat until custard thickens slightly. Stir constantly to prevent mixture from sticking to bottom of pan. Do not allow mixture to boil or eggs may scramble. Remove from heat and pour through a strainer into a large glass bowl. Allow to cool slightly, then mix in peach puree and cream. Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight.
Stir chilled custard, then freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. You can also add fresh, chopped peaches to mixture as it is churning in machine. Place in freezer for at least 2 hours for firm ice cream.