A few things lined up perfectly this weekend to bring you all this post…

1. Austin had its first few consecutive 100+-degree days. Honest to goodness, I semi-burned my hand on my steering wheel.
2. Peaches are in season, and the ones from Fredericksburg are the very best. They’re like God’s little gift to Central Texas: just when we think we might pass out from the heat, it’s peach season! (Peaches don’t exactly provide a reprieve from the heat, but they’re yummy enough to elicit a “Hallelujah!” from even the most wilted of us.)
3. I bought my mom an ice cream machine for her birthday, which she had yet to use. (In my family we would call that “a gift that keeps on giving.”)

Because it will be swimsuit season in Texas for the next three months or so, and because we (cough, cough, I) tend to eat more than my fair share of ice cream, we adapted the recipe to make it a tad healthier. But, as a kind of ice cream connoisseur, I can assure you that the flavor doesn’t suffer at all.

Gather Up:
2 cups milk, plus 1 additional cup
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup nonfat powdered milk
8 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large ripe peaches
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Place 2 cups milk, ¾ cup sugar and ¼ cup powdered milk in a heavy saucepan and heat over medium low heat. Bring to a low simmer, stirring frequently, until all sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.

Whip the 8 egg whites until thick, about 2 minutes.

Slowly add 1 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg whites while constantly whisking. Combine thoroughly.

Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Return to medium low heat and stir constantly until the mixture is thickened and smooth. (You are looking for the consistency of gravy, or for a temperature of 170 – 180 degrees on a thermometer.)

Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Transfer to a bowl, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill completely. This takes 4 – 6 hours, and could go as long as 48 hours if you wish.

Several hours before you are ready to pour the custard into a prepared ice cream machine, it is time to get the peaches ready.

Combine peeled, chopped peaches with the ½ cup sugar and the 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. (For help peeling peaches, click here…)

Let the peaches macerate covered in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Puree the peaches in a food processor until they are mostly smooth with a few small bits of peach still present.

Stir the peach puree into the custard mixture and return to the refrigerator to re-chill the custard if necessary.

Remove the freezer bowl of the ice cream maker from the freezer and pour in the chilled custard. Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

This recipe will make a soft creamy ice cream. For harder ice cream transfer to an airtight container and place in the freezer for several hours. Let it sit for 15 minutes before scooping when it comes out of the freezer.

And if you’re looking for a full peach experience, you could make these Mini Peach Upside Down Cakes, and put a scoop of fresh peach ice cream on the side. That’s what our favorite little bakery in Fredericksburg does, and it’s totally worth it…