It is officially SUMMER!! And what is better this time of year than ice cream and fresh grown local peaches??
These past few weeks, here in South Carolina, we have been "treated" to true summer weather in the south. Everyday, it has been well over 90 degrees. Ugggg.... There is nothing more horrible than getting into your car at the end of the day and your car saying that it is 105 degrees. Some days, you can barely touch the steering wheel. At first, when I moved south in 1999 (from the frozen tundra of Pennsylvania), I thought that the heat was going to be the death of me. I remember several times gasping as I walked outside and telling friends that I could not breath. I was feeling as though the humidity was going to suffocate me. Since then, I have learned to look at the hot summer months more as a compromise for the temperate fall, winter and spring. Thinking now.... If given the option of shoveling 3 feet of snow in freezing cold conditions or sweating a little downtown while watching a band and having a cold beer on a Friday night- I choose that cold beer!
One of the jewels of this area is the great produce that we have in abundance. Whether you are a local Carolinian or a transplant like me, the one season that everyone looks forward to here is peach season. We follow the peaches from the first buds on the trees in very early spring, through every frost that might damage the crops, until the time we bring home our first basket of pure South Carolina goodness. Most people here await that first peach of the season because it is one of the true signs of summer. Lucky for us, this years peach crop has turned out to be prolific and we are loving every single bite!!
Cinnamon Toffee Ice Cream on Grilled South Carolina PeachesAs you know from my blog, I have so many recipes for fresh peaches; a lot that I have not even posted yet. The grilled peaches in this recipe, I make several times per summer. It is a great go-to simple dessert that you can whip up with almost no planning. The ice cream on the other had takes a little more time. If you are in a crunch, grab some locally made vanilla ice cream to top your peaches. No one will complain!
For Ice Cream:
1½ cups sugar
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 cups half & half
1 2"-piece cinnamon stick, broken in half
Pinch kosher salt
4 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
½ tsp. vanilla
1. Heat oven to 350°. Combine 3/4 cup sugar, ground cinnamon, and butter in a bowl. Spread sugar mixture evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until crisp, about 15 minutes; let cool completely. Break into small pieces; set aside.
2. Bring half & half, cinnamon stick, and salt to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 3/4 cup of sugar slowly; whisking with each addition. Remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes; strain into a bowl and set aside. Whisk yolks in until smooth. Add cream. Return to saucepan over medium heat and cook until mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 20 minutes. Stir in vanilla until combined; cover with plastic wrap, pressing it against the surface of the custard. Chill custard completely.
3. Pour custard into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions until churned and thick. Transfer ice cream to a bowl and fold in cinnamon sugar mixture. Transfer to an airtight storage container; freeze until set, at least 4 hours.
Adapted from Savuer
For Grilled Peaches:
Cut peaches in half and remove the pits. Place peaches cut side up on a plate and sprinkle with turbinado sugar and ground cinnamon. Allow to sit for 15 min. The peaches will become juicy. In the meantime, light the grill, thoroughly clean it and allow to heat up. When the grill is heated to medium, place the peaches cut side down on the grate. Cook for approximately 3 minutes or until there are grill marks. Turn them over and allow to cook for 5-7 more minutes or till the peaches are soft and juicy. Top with ice cream or fresh whipped cream.