Although summer is long gone this year, I figure that any season can be ice cream season. So I want to share a tip I discovered this year for making ice cream with fruit. The ice cream recipe I usually follow comes from Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book, which instructs you to make a Sweet Cream Base (see below) and then add other ingredients or flavorings. The base is always the same, obviously, but then you add whatever ingredients you want to create the type of flavoring you desire.
Well, I LOVE ice cream made with fresh fruit (peaches, strawberries, raspberries, or whatever), but particular fruits aren't always in season. So what I tried doing this summer was putting the prepared and pre-measured fresh fruit (2 cups of finely chopped fruit) in freezer bags, along with the sugar and lemon juice the recipe calls for. That and a quarter teaspoon of Fruit Fresh. Then I labeled the bags and put them in my freezer. So that way, whenever I want to have fresh peach ice cream, for example, all I have to do is pull a bag of the peach mixture out of the freezer to thaw, make the Sweet Cream Base, combine the two, and pop the mixture in my ice cream freezer. Voila!
So in the example below, I would buy the fresh peaches in season and then put two cups of chopped fresh peaches, 1/2 cup sugar, the juice of 1/2 a lemon, and 1/4 teaspoon Fruit Fresh in each freezer bag. Those bags would then go in the freezer. And then when I wanted to make my peach ice cream, I would pull a bag out of the freezer, thaw it, and add it to the Sweet Cream Base. And there you have it. The same principle would work for other ice creams as well, though the amount of sugar may vary depending on the fruit.
Fresh Peach Ice Cream
2 cups ripe peaches that have been peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Sweet Cream Base (see below)
Combine the peaches, sugar, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Puree with a hand blender. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours. Prepare the Sweet Cream Base and then combine with the chilled fruit mixture. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according the manufacturer's instructions.
Sweet Cream Base
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend.
Makes 1 generous quart.