Ice Cream that Tastes Like Summer Vacation
By Victoria Lai, Ice Cream Jubilee
When I was a girl growing up in Texas, my family celebrated the end of each day by sitting down together over ice cream. My dad would dig into his favorite coffee flavor while I would mash strawberries or Oreos into my vanilla. As a 9-year-old, it was my way of creating new flavors.
Twenty years later, while working as a corporate attorney in Manhattan, I bought my first ice cream maker and began crafting new ice cream recipes. This little Cuisinart machine opened my life to culinary creativity.
I was inspired by the world around me—from cocktails by my favorite bartenders to desserts found in bodegas, Chinatown and South Asian sweet shops— while revisiting my happiest childhood memories to recall what desserts my grandparents shared with me. I transformed all these inspirations into ice cream flavors by using a basic custard recipe and adding a variety of flavors and fruits.
Peach Pie Ice Cream with Raspberry Sauce combines all of my favorite things: ice cream, pie and summer fruit. Making piecrusts by hand reminds me of when I took a break from practicing law and apprenticed at Four and Twenty Blackbirds, a pie shop in Brooklyn. As I kneaded and rolled butter crusts, I realized that I would be happiest if I pursued my passion for food every day, and not just as an occasional hobby. It was my first step toward a life full of flavor, where every moment feels like summer vacation.
Peach Pie Filling
- 1½ to 2 pounds very ripe fresh peaches, pitted and diced
- ½ cup white sugar
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 dash cinnamon
- 1 cup crushed piecrust, crumbed into ½-inch pieces (use your favorite recipe)
Ice Cream Custard
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 4 large egg yolks
In a saucepan over medium heat, gently simmer peaches with ½ cup sugar and cinnamon until fruit is tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
Purée peaches in a blender until mostly smooth but small chunks remain. Add almond extract and cool to room temperature. Whisk egg yolks with sugar until thick and light yellow. Combine cream, milk and salt in a small pot. Heat to a simmer, for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
Whisking constantly, slowly pour about a quarter of the hot cream into the yolks until the liquids are combined and the egg yolks are warmed. Pour the warm egg mixture back into the pot with the cream and whisk to combine. Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture reaches 170º. Strain liquid custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.
Cool mixture to room temperature, then add peach pie filling. Cover ice cream mixture and chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. After churning is complete, pour ice cream into a container and stir in piecrust crumbles with a spatula.
Freeze overnight for hard-scoop ice cream. Or enjoy your soft ice cream immediately without freezing it overnight … because life is short.
The homemade raspberry sauce complements this ice cream recipe, but it can also personalize store-bought ice cream.
- 1 pint raspberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
Combine the raspberries and sugar in a saucepan on low heat. Cook until fruit is broken down, about 8 minutes. Remove the heat and remove seeds, if desired. Let cool and serve over ice cream.
This article originally appeared in our Summer 2015 issue.
Victoria Lai is the founder and “chief icecreampreneur” of Washington DC's Ice Cream Jubilee, winner of the 2015 Washington City Paper Readers Poll for Best Ice Cream Shop, 2014 Washingtonian Best Of Award and the 2013 DC Scoop Competition. Visit Ice Cream Jubilee's stores next to The Yards Park, 301 Water Street SE or in Logan Circle, 1407 T Street NW. icecreamjubilee.com