This week it's officially hot. Summer vacation is right around the corner, and everyone's calendars seem full. Out come the sundresses, blockbuster movies and our favorite -- homemade ice cream.
We start the weekend by getting up early Saturday morning to drive to Schnepf Farms
in Queen Creek for their annual Peach Festival. There are many things to enjoy here like peach pancakes cooked outside on a big griddle, and peach pies for sale in the country store. But best of all may be the hayrides, which take you out to the peach orchards to pick your own peaches.
It's a tad hot, it's a tad dusty, it's a bit crowded but never mind, we pick a peck of peaches, and come home with the desire to make homemade peach ice-cream.
Surely Martha can provide us with a recipe to help make this possible. Oh yes, she can, in fact she has a few. We chose a simple recipe
which lets the fresh peaches be the star of the show.
We start by slicing four ripe peaches --leaving their skins on -- and placing them in a bowl with a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and a ½ cup sugar. This sweet fruity mixture is to sit for two hours, covered and with the occasional stir.
Next, we mash the peaches (we just used a fork) and add ½ cup milk and a ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Stir and let stand for another half-hour.
Then using a mixer beat one egg and one egg-yolk and then pour in ¼ cup sugar. Reduce speed and add 1 cup of heavy cream plus the peach mixture. Mix until blended and pour into an ice cream maker.
After a day of being out in the heat we are happy to eat peach ice cream served with a ginger wafer cookie. The combination is out of this world. The yellow-fleshed peaches have just a hint of tart mixed with juicy sweetness. It's peaches and cream, summery and delicious. You can taste the sunshine in the fruit.
The Schnepf Farms Peach Festival continues next weekend, May 22nd and 23rd. It's open from 7:30 to 4:00 pm and admission is free.