It's hot. I know I'm not telling you anything you don't know. But it is. And it's so steamy and sticky and sweltering, that it's worth saying again. But the cool, creamy treat we all scream for this time of year will refresh you from the inside out, so here are two of my favorites -- one an old standard and one a more recent discovery -- that you can make yourself (no screaming required).
Peach Ice Cream
It’s not embellished, gussied up, garnished or infused with anything. It’s not fancy. There are no frills. It’s just plain ole peach ice cream (my mama's recipe), but far from being pedestrian, it's perfect in its simplicity. Combine sugar, ripe fruit, Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk (an icon of old-fashioned Southern desserts) and a tub of Cool Whip (yes, Cool Whip), pour into your ice cream machine, and a couple thousand spins of the dasher later, you’re left with a frozen delight full of pure peachy pleasure.
3 small (5 ounce) cans PET evaporated milk
1/2 of a 14 ounce can of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
8 ounces Cool Whip
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
7 medium to large peaches, peeled, chopped and mashed
whole milk (approximately 1/2 to 1 cup)
Mix all the ingredients except the milk together, folding in the Cool Whip last. Pour into a 4-quart ice cream machine and add milk to the fill line. Freeze following your machine's instructions.
Sweet Cream Gelato
My brother whipped this up for the family over a 4th of July weekend a few years ago. We all agreed it doesn't have the texture that its name "gelato" implies; it has almost the same feel, just a bit airier, as regular homemade ice cream. But the taste was wholly different and delectable. Less sweet, but still satisfying. No fruity flavors, not even a hint of vanilla, but no blandness either, just the light, buttery simplicity of heavy cream and milk. The recipe came from allrecipes.com.
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 egg yolks
In a medium saucepan, mix milk and cream. Warm until foam forms around the edges. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until frothy. Gradually pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture gels slightly and coats the back of the spoon. If small egg lumps begin to show, remove from heat immediately.
Pour the mixture through a sieve or fine strainer into a bowl. Cover, and chill for several hours or overnight.
Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a sealed container, and freeze until firm. If the gelato is too firm, place it in the refrigerator until it reaches the desired consistency.