So many people have told me how much they love custard-based ice cream. I was surprised because my favorite kind of ice cream is non-custard, or so I thought, and I didn’t bother making the other kind. I wanted to know what all the fuss is about, so I gave it a try. It is a little more trouble to make, but it is worth it! It has a richer taste than non-custard ice cream because it has egg yolks in it.
Preparing the Peaches
Use very ripe peaches for this recipe to make the best-tasting ice cream. Some peach varieties have more flavor than others, so pick a flavorful one to use in this ice cream. For this recipe, puree the peaches, so you have a lot of peach taste distributed throughout the ice cream rather than larger frozen chunks of peaches.
Prepare to Make the Custard
There are a few steps for making the custard in this recipe. Don’t worry because the cooking part of this custard is made very easy with a cooking thermometer.
Setting Up an Ice Bath
- To get started, place some ice and water into a large mixing bowl until it is about halfway full.
- Then in a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the whipping cream. Sit the medium-sized bowl into the ice water in the large bowl. Add more ice if necessary to stabilize the whipping cream bowl. Place a fine-mesh strainer over the bowl with the cream, as shown below.
Heating the Half and Half
Now that the ice water is set up, add the half and half, salt, and sugar to a medium-sized saucepan. On medium-low heat, warm the half and half until the sugar melts, stirring occasionally. Only heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Then remove from the heat.
Tempering the Eggs
- The next step is to temper the eggs, so they don’t overcook and ruin the custard.
- First, place the egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until smooth. I like them well beaten, so I put them into a small chopper and blend them for a few seconds.
- Slowly, and while whisking constantly, pour 1/2 of the heated half and half into the bowl with the egg yolks. Whisk constantly until well blended.
Cooking the Custard
- Pour the egg/half and half mixture into the saucepan that still has some half and half. Whisk as you pour.
- Insert a food thermometer and heat the mixture on low heat until it thickens and reaches 175-180 degrees F. This will take about 4-6 minutes on a gas range and longer on other stoves.
- Be sure to stir constantly and scrape the bottom of the pan. Do not boil. I switched from a whisk to a heat-safe spatula for cooking the custard. This will make it easier to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan as the custard cooks.
- When the custard reaches temperature, remove it from the heat and pour it through the strainer into the cold cream sitting on the ice bath.
- Push the custard through the strainer. Discard any solid pieces. Stir the mixture well, and then add the pureed peaches.
- Insert the thermometer and let the custard cool to 70 degrees F. The mixture will cool quickly in the ice water.
- Then chill the ice cream mixture in a freezer for 2 hours or a refrigerator for 4 hours. The purpose of cooling the ice cream mixture is to make it cold enough to freeze well in an ice cream freezer. Once it is chilled, place the mixture into an ice cream freezer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make the ice cream.
Soft Serve vs Hard Frozen
When the ice cream is finished, serve it right away if you like softer ice cream. If you like ice cream that is frozen hard, spoon it into a container, cover it with a lid, and freeze it for at least four to eight hours to harden it. Enjoy!
If you like this peach custard ice cream, you might want to try my Blueberry Custard Ice Cream.
Here are some other ice cream recipes you might like to try: