Peach season is finally here.  I love September for this very reason.  Our favorite fruit stand opened a few weeks ago and we’ve been eating them as fast as we can.

We freeze some and make jam.  There was a pie this year that didn’t quite turn out as I’d planned, but it was eaten anyway.  Our family’s favorite way to enjoy fresh peaches is in homemade ice cream.  And I think after numerous attempts to get it just right, I think I finally did.  Surprisingly this recipe is the simplest and easiest of all we’ve tried.  No cooking involved; no eggs.  Just peaches, cream, sugar, lemon juice, and a little almond extract if you have it.

Fresh Peach Ice Cream

5-6 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Juice of 1 large lemon
1-2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. almond extract (optional, but delicious)
2 cups heavy cream (don’t sub for light cream or half-and-half)

In a large bowl, mix together the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, and extracts.  Let sit for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved and peaches have released their juices.  Mash with a potato masher.  Measure out 2 cups of the mashed peaches.  Reserve the remaining mashed peaches in a small bowl and chill until very cold.  Puree the 2 cups in a blender or food processor.  Add the heavy cream and pour into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill until very cold.  (If you’re in a hurry, you can place it in the freezer for about 20 minutes.  Whisk it well in case it freezes around the edge of the bowl.)

Churn according to manufacturer directions.  Mix reserved mashed peaches with the ice cream after it’s finished churning and place in an airtight, freezer-proof container.  Allow the ice cream to harden for a few hours in the freezer before serving.

Makes about 1 1/2 quarts.

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