Peach Cinnamon Ice Cream with Maple Gingersnaps
So here we are, September 10th. Even though I haven’t been in school for about, let’s see, 9 years now, I think there’s still a little part of me that feels the deep-down stirrings of excitement when the new school year starts…as our time in the garden winds down (no more intense weeding needed, wheeeeeee!), I start thinking about all the things I want to do this fall and winter (spend more time on one of my other hobbies, illustration; shop for new fall clothes(!); actually complete the bird biology course I started last winter; get out and hike around the gorges here more before winter sets in; and oh – we’re starting to look for a house to buy!)
And so it seems to me like autumn should already be in full swing — after all, blogs everywhere are already starting to post decidedly fall-ish dishes, friends and family members who are teachers are fully back in the swing of a new school year, the sun is setting earlier, and I even saw Halloween candy at the grocery store the other day. (Isn’t it a little early?! I actually turned down that aisle and stopped, looking around in confusion, trying to figure out what the heck all these color-themed candy displays were around for…)
But one part of me is still stuck in summer: tomatoes don’t stop growing, even though Labor Day has passed; our Farmer’s Market, living in a Zone 5 climate, just began with the late summer produce in the past few weeks! Peppers and tomatoes are still in full swing. Delightful, beautiful plums just arrived (more on that in a later post!) and most importantly, summer peaches are widely available here. The kind I just eat right over the sink, honey-sweet nectar dribbling down my chin and arm. The kind that is so ripe that when halved, the pits separate from the flesh if you just give them a stern look. A ripe summer peach has to be, I’m convinced, one of the purest gastronomic delights ever there was.
I had been *waiting* for peaches to arrive all summer. Mind you, they’ve only been in full swing about 2-3 weeks here, and I’ve been happily gorging myself on them every day, but I hadn’t yet gotten around to making peach ice cream. How can summer go by without making peach ice cream?! It would be a travesty to slip into fall without one last peach hurrah. So, last weekend, I decided I would make some, but that I would try to straddle the seasons a bit. Besides sprinkling a little cinnamon into the ice cream, I made maple gingersnaps to go with it…and I have to tell you, they’re a perfect pair. Maple is one of my favorite flavors in the entire world, and the spicy maple cookies snuggled into the pastel peachy ice cream, with a little hint of cinnamon each bite, were the perfect avenue to channel all of my autumn anticipation.
Even if you don’t make the peach ice cream, the maple gingersnaps are killer — I even made them entirely whole wheat, using whole wheat pastry flour, and they were so, so, so delicious!! I made a batch but rolled the rest of the dough into balls and froze the balls on a sheet in the freezer, then transferred them to a large ziploc bag. Now I can have maple gingersnaps whenever I feel the urge this fall.
Oh, and one last thing: the entire time I was making this dessert, and eating it, and writing about it now, I couldn’t stop thinking about my dear Dad. My dad’s favorite cookie is a gingersnap, and peach desserts are also his favorite — I know he would really love this. Dad, I wish we lived closer so I could have shared some with you! Love you so much, XOXO, Amy.
Peach Cinnamon Ice Cream
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop
4 large peaches
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Peel the peaches by cutting a small x on the bottom of each and lowering them into a pot of boiling water for about 20 seconds. Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and run them under cold water to stop the cooking. The skins should easily slip off.
Cut the peeled peaches in half, discard the pits, and cut them into chunks. Cook them in a medium saucepan with the water over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the sugar, and let them cool to room temperature.
Place the cooked peaches in a blender or food processor with the sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Blend until it’s almost smooth, but you can still see some chunks throughout.
Chill the mixture in the fridge or in a bowl over an ice water bath until thoroughly chilled, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the machine’s instructions.
Makes 1 quart.
2 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper [I used ground black pepper]
3/4 cup granulated white sugar [I use natural cane sugar]
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, Grade B for strongest flavor
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and white (or black) pepper.
In the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter together with 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and the brown sugar for 2 minute, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on medium, add the egg and then the maple syrup.
Turn the mixer speed down to low and add the dry ingredients. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Roll the dough into 3/4-inch balls in the remaining granulated sugar. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, about 3 inches apart. Bake about 15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden around the edges and set right at the edges but still a little soft in the middle. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Makes about 36 cookies.