So, for a lot of you, Summer vacation is a thing. You’re out there enjoying grilled er’thang. Meanwhile, here in Riveraland, I’m dealing with integers, slopes and intercepts, and the rest of pre-algebra. I’m in desperate need of something that resembles summertime because it’s hiding from me, and…well…math isn’t. This Grilled Peach Buttermilk Frozen Custard is what will save my sanity, and my children’s psychological health…I hope.
How did we get to this point? I’m in a corner in the fetal position sucking my thumb. The Twinks are looking at me wondering, “Why can’t -2 and -5 equal 8?” I don’t care enough about negatives to fight. I just need my kids not to live in the slums when they get older; so I persist.
Once upon a time, I was happy as a lark teaching long addition. Then letters infiltrated the numeric order. After eavesdropping, my hubby decided that he’d, “Let me take a break,” from teaching math…forever. You see, according to Hector, I was, “Going to screw our kids up explaining math that way.” So, he took over teaching math.
But, you know what he failed to keep in mind? Deployment. Yeah, that little nugget of life. Anyway, I’m over here winging it like you wouldn’t believe, and the Twinks know it. They ask me questions that they know I don’t know the answers to. So, before I go to bed, I review the next day’s lessons- THRICE, you guys, so I can keep up with them. It still doesn’t work.
Instead, I slunk outside and started up the grill. Grilled something would make me happy; I just know it. Searing my angst away on hot iron grates is what every mom needs to do, right? The scent of ripe peaches beckons me to accept them as a sacrifice to the algebraic gods, and I scoop them up to appease the dark mathematic lord. Yes, peaches, your death will be a noble one. Et tu, frozen custard? Your sacrifice will not be in vain either.
Why custard? Why not ice cream, you may be asking. Well, because I thoroughly enjoy food, and if I’m going to make it, I’m aint half-stepping. Ice cream is all well and good, but custard is fluffy, frozen awesomeness. The thickness of this chilly confection comes from the addition of egg yolks that have been cooked with the dairy base. Not only do I believe frozen custard should be the norm, I believe that aging your ice cream base should be required (I’ll touch more on that later). It all begins with heating the heavy cream for the custard base. I also add three coins of fresh ginger (unpeeled and sliced about 1/8″ thick) to give it an added depth of flavor.
Frozen custard is just that. A flavored custard base that is processed like ice cream. Instead of whisking together milks and cream, however, the custard is prepared on a stovetop with a method called tempering. The first step in the tempering process is combining our sugar (in this case the bolder, more flavorful demerara) and egg yolks.
Once our cream begins to steam, we scoop out a cup of it and add it to our egg mixture in a slow stream- whisking constantly. This introduces our hot liquid into the eggs without cooking them immediately. This is tempering. It allows the eggs to gradually acclimate to the heat without becoming scrambled. There are times when, no matter how careful you are, you’ll end up with egg solids. Straining them out at the end is always an option. The more you temper, the better you’ll get and eventually you won’t need to strain, though.
Once you’ve tempered the eggs, you can reintroduce the mixture to the cream in the pot in the same manner- a slow, steady stream. Make sure to whisk the entire time you’re adding the liquid to prevent curdling.
Now you just heat, stirring constantly, until your custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This is called nappe. Your custard should hold its shape when you draw your finger down the length of the spoon. If it runs, it’s too thin- cook it a little while longer. If it’s too thick, pull it from the stove and thin with a bit more cream until it reaches the proper consistency. You don’t want to overcook, though, because then you’ll break the custard. Set it aside to cool completely.
What’s the deal with buttermilk? I actually love the stuff. Buttermilk is basically milk that has turned sour. But, in a good way! You can buy cultured buttermilk in stores, but I haven’t purchased it in decades. It’s so easy to make, as long as you already have milk on hand. A cup of milk and a tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar are all you need to make your own buttermilk. Just mix the two together, allow to sit for 15 minutes and voila! You so fancy. You’ve just created whole fat buttermilk! Something you may never find in stores (low fat is the most common buttermilk sold), but something that will benefit your custard.
Buttermilk and the grilled sweet peach are a match made in heaven. They are the perfect balance of tangy and sweet, so it turns from a standard (already awesome) frozen custard base into something sublime. I place mine in a chilled metal bowl along with a bit of sour cream, and add the cooled custard we prepared earlier. Don’t strain it! Leave the ginger pieces in there because we’re going to age it all together over-night.
Aging ice cream bases is a trick of the trade, but it’s also pushed in many ice cream recipes. While it’s not a requirement, it is (in my humble opinion) the key to achieving a thicker, more flavorful end result. When you refrigerate overnight, you churn with a stone cold base that has had a chance to marinate with the flavors added. Because of that, the ice cream churns creamier. Allowing it to age in the fridge overnight with the ginger and buttermilk infuses the custard with those flavors= even tastier. Do you have to age? No. But you will have to cool it until very cold.
Easiest way to do that? In an ice bath like this. Set it in the fridge (carefully) and allow it to get as cold as possible before moving on.
But! If you want amazingly-awesome-Marta-frozen custard, let it age for 24 hours.
To pass the time, let’s prepare our grilled peaches.
Peaches are drupes, or stone fruits, meaning that they have edible flesh that surrounds a seed that has a protective, hardened outer shell. They, along with plums, nectarines, olives, and mangos; are considered clingstone stone fruits because their flesh is not easily separated from the stone. When peaches are ripe, it does make removing the stone easier, but the soft flesh makes removal a bit messy. I cut my clean, ripe peach in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. I’ve found this is the fastest and cleanest way to extract the stone.
When preparing a fruit to grill, I like to draw as much flavor out in a short amount of time as possible. Because of the high heat of the grill, and the ripened state of the peaches, that needs to happen within 5-10 minutes. Any more time and the fructose (fruit sugar) will scorch and burn. Anything less and you’ll not only have warm peaches, you’ll struggle to remove the skins. My incorporation of flavor, and a fat to ease in grilling, comes in the form of a butter and brown sugar syrup I brush onto the peaches prior to placing them on the hot grill.
Unsalted butter, vegetable oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and a squeeze of lemon creates the perfect glaze. Why veg oil? It raises the smoke point of the fat. This allows me to grill with the added bonus of the yummy butter flavor. I bring it all to a boil to dissolve the sugar (stirring constantly) and remove from the heat.
Once the glaze has had a chance to cool, I brush a layer of it onto the halved peaches. Now, they’re ready to meet their maker. Okay, a little less macabre? They’re ready for the grill. Better?
Once they’ve grilled over med-high heat (375°F-450°F) for 5 minutes, flip them onto their flat side. *How do you know your grill is the right temp? Well, the telltale way is to use your grill’s thermometer gauge. If that’s not functional (and most aren’t), use your hand. NO, DON’T GRILL YOUR HAND!! Hold your hand five inches from the grate and count. You should be able to hold your hand there for AT LEAST 4 seconds before it becomes unbearably hot.* After grilling an additional 5 minutes, you should be able to easily peel the skins off. I just used my tongs, but you can also use your fingers to remove the peel. Remove your peaches from the grill and allow to cool completely.
Once they’ve cooled, puree your peaches. You want your peaches to be the consistency of a chunky applesauce. The more you like peaches and want them to stand out, the less you should process them. Leave them in the food processor bowl (saves dishes!), just be mindful of the blade when you go to the next step.
Now, let’s assemble this majestic montage of magnificence. I alliterated like a BEAST!!
Pop a metal bowl into your freezer (I’ll explain later). Strain the chilled custard, or remove the ginger coins, and churn according to your ice cream machine‘s instructions. My recommended churn time- did you know I used to be an ice cream maker (I talk about that in here)- is no more than 25 minutes. Even if it still looks a little loose, you don’t want to over-churn and end up with grainy, crumbly frozen custard.
Once your custard has almost finished churning, pull out the frozen metal bowl and pour half of the pureed peaches into it. Pour half of the custard over the peaches and repeat until you have filled the bowl with peach puree and custard. Give it a gentle fold to combine and pour the mixture into ice cream containers or freezable storage containers. Freeze for at least 4 hours before doing all this:
You don’t need the Pythagorean Theorem to make and enjoy this Grilled Peach Buttermilk Frozen Custard, well… since I don’t really know what that is, so you may very well might need it, whatevs! Print the recipe to add to your recipe box, and pin it for quick finding later.
Grilled Peach Buttermilk Frozen Custard
Yield 1.5 quart
This deliciously thick, creamy, frozen custard is the perfect way to celebrate the close of Summer. Serve it atop a slice of your favorite pie, or on its own.
Special equipment needed:
*See note on prep time
8 large egg yolks
1 cup demerara sugar (or brown sugar)
pinch of kosher salt
2 cups heavy cream
1" ginger, sliced 1/8" thick
2 cups whole fat buttermilk*
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp demerara sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tsp lemon juice
3 ripe peaches, cut in half across the diameter, pits removed
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt until it is thick and lemony yellow in color. Set it atop a damp kitchen towel to prevent it from spinning during the next step.
- In 3 qt saucepan, heat the cream with the coins of ginger, just until it starts to steam. Remove it from the heat and scoop out a cup of the liquid. In a slow, steady stream, whisk the hot liquid into the egg mixture. Whisk constantly to avoid curdling the eggs.
- Once all of the liquid has been whisked into the eggs, pour the mixture back into the pot of cream in the same manner, whisking constantly (but not vigorously). Place the pan back onto the stove and heat over medium heat until the mixture becomes thick and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
- Chill a metal bowl in your freezer while you wait for the custard to cool. Once the custard has cooled completely, add the buttermilk and sour cream to the chilled bowl. Pour in the custard and whisk to combine. Chill for at least 4 hours in an ice bath, or preferably, overnight.
- Prepare your peach glaze by bringing the butter, oil, the final quantity of sugar and the lemon juice to a boil in a small saucepan. Allow it to cool slightly and brush a generous amount onto the peach halves.
- Grill over med-high heat for 4-5 mins per side. Watch them to ensure they don't burn. Remove from the grill and peel the skins off of each peach halve.
- Process in a food processor until the peaches are the consistency of chunky applesauce. Set aside to cool completely.
- Strain the ginger out of the cooled custard and churn according to your ice cream machine's instructions. While the custard is churning, freeze a large metal bowl and set out your ice cream storage containers.
- Once the custard has almost finished churning, remove your bowl from the freezer. Pour half of the peach puree into the chilled bowl, followed by the fully churned custard. Repeat until all the peach puree and custard have been added. Fold gently to combine and immediately transfer to your storage container.
- Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight, then enjoy!
- Prep time includes the churn time.
- 24 hours inactive time is the optional aging step. Aging is a technique that allows the custard base to cool completely prior to churning. If you opt not to, make sure your custard base is fully chilled before churning.
- the whole fat buttermilk can be made by stirring together 2 cups of whole milk and 2 tbsp of lemon juice (or white vinegar), and allowing it to sit for 15 minutes prior to use. If you prefer to buy your buttermilk, low fat buttermilk is an acceptable substitute.
If you like this frozen treat, you’ll definitely love these: