photograph by Rex Yau

Editor’s Note: This recipe is adapted from a recipe by Kelly Alexander, who wrote the book on peaches (really, it’s called Peaches). Learn more here.

The Best Homemade Peach Ice Cream
Yields 1 quart.

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 vanilla bean (optional)
  • 3 large peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into bite-size chunks

In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and brown sugar.

In a large saucepan, bring cream and milk to a simmer over low heat. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot milk mixture into egg yolk mixture until combined; return to the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 3-5 minutes or until the custard has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Immediately strain custard into a bowl.

Set bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice water to cool, stirring occasionally. When custard has cooled, stir in lemon juice, vanilla, and vanilla bean, if desired. Chill overnight.

Remove vanilla bean and freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, adding the peaches halfway through the churning process.

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Kelly Alexander is the author of Peaches, a cookbook in the Savor the South series from UNC Press. She is a James Beard Award-winning writer and a former editor at Saveur and Food & Wine magazines. Kelly lives in Chapel Hill and teaches food writing at Duke University.

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