I have a million ice cream recipes on this blog. I keep going back to it because there are so many different possible variations. It, obviously, happens to be my favorite dessert. No matter the season, no matter the mood, ice cream is the answer. I have these very vivid memories of eating ice cream throughout my life.
I remember whisking Nestle Quick into vanilla ice cream at my grandmother’s house, waiting for the ice cream to melt just enough so that the chocolate powder would mix perfectly through. I remember eating cinnamon ice cream over an apple crisp upon moving out of my house and into my dorm room. I remember the frozen yogurt walks on my way back to studio in the middle of the freezing Ithaca night. I remember the first horrible batches of homemade ice cream I made and the euphoria of finally figuring it out. If my choice in ice cream is a reflection of what I am currently loving in life, I must really be into peaches these days.
Life moves too fast, and most things take too long. The idea of taking things slow, letting things sit, roast, and then move when the time is right, is bizarre to most of us. We want our food, wine, and groceries delivered. We want our drivers to emerge with the click of a button, and Amazon to remember every purchase. We are impatient. But while convenient, we don’t remember any of these interactions. What we remember is that that we dreamed about and what we worked for, the things that we failed at doing, the opportunities well let slip through the cracks. We remember the things we actually worked hard for. But for some reason, i still believe that the hardest thing is learning when to wait and when to move quickly; when to let things unfold and when to be agressive.
I always go back to cooking because I continues to prove an exquisite analogy to life. You can try to force things together or you can watch, listen, learn, then act. You can try to Frankenstein foods, or you can learn to understand that the best food is usually combination of multiple factors, and using ingredients when they are at their peak tends to give you the best of results.
A few days ago, we had too many peaches to eat, some were starting to wilt away in their own skin. Instead of gorging them raw, I decided to make them into an ice cream. The peaches were first roasted until they started to fall apart. Once cooled , I whipped them into a base of coconut ice cream, yogurt, dates and cinnamon. After a few hours in the refrigerator, the ingredients came to life as they churned away into a light, fluffy, soft ice cream. Every single step took some time, necessary for the pieces of the puzzle to fall together. At each stage, the ingredients mixed and the flavors fused into a sweet, refreshing dessert that is quintessentially summer and only right, at this exact second.
Peaches and Cream Vegan Ice Cream
Cooking time: About 8 hours, mostly inactive
*Notes: Before starting, freeze ice cream machine over night!
- 3 peaches
- 1 can 14oz. best quality light coconut milk
- 1 cup, best quality coconut yogurt, such as Anita’s Creamline Coconut Yogurt, alternatively, use really good full fat cow’s milk yogurt
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 4 dates, pitted
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut the peaches into quarters and discard the pits.
- Place peaches on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. The peaches are ready when caramelized and soft.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
- Place coconut milk, yogurt, cooled roasted peaches, dates, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a high speed blender.
- Pulse until incorporated.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour, but preferably overnight. The cooler the better!
- Pour the coconut mixture into pre-frozen ice cream machine. Turn on at the lowest speed and leave running for approximately 30 minutes. Once the mixture looks like a thick milk shake, remove and freeze in a sealed container until hard, for about 8 hours or overnight.
- Let sit at room temperature for five minutes before serving.