My grandfather, Ode (short for Odell), was a funny guy. He could’ve had the whole room laughing before he even told a single joke. In fact, I don't recall that he ever got through an entire joke to deliver the punch line, actually. He would get ahead of himself, start chuckling, and then that was it; we'd all lose it. Knee-slapping, eyes crying, gasping for breath, we would all beg him to finish the joke, but by that time, the punch line could not have been more fun than the laugh we were already having.
Every summer there came a time. Ode would stand atop the step stool, reach far back into the top shelf of the pantry, and bring down the cedar bucket along with the crank to attach to the top. We'd gather the rest of the materials: rock salt, ice, cream, sugar, and a brown paper bag of ripe peaches. I'd mix up the cream and sugar per his instruction as he removed the pits and sliced the peaches. He did not waste precious time dicing or blending the peaches; we'd just throw the big slices into the bowl.
I couldn’t stand the anticipation. Once the ice cream container was submerged in ice and concealed by the cedar bucket, I knew it would not be long. We'd take turns turning the crank. There was a strict no-peeking rule. Thirty minutes later, which seemed more like 30 years, we'd scoop generous bowlfuls of peach ice cream and distribute them to all of the family members -- even though they didn't help. Then it was time. Time for peach ice cream.
Grilled Peach Ice Cream
(Special equipment: ice cream maker)
3 medium peaches (peeled, halved, about 2 cups, plus more to garnish)
3/4 cup brown sugar
juice of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon Maldon sea salt flakes
4 sprigs of mint (to garnish)
Put the freezer bowl of the ice cream maker in the freezer for 6 hours prior to making this dish. Over a high flame on an outdoor grill, grill peaches cut-side-down until well marked by the grill grates. You want some of the sugars to blacken. Using tongs flip the peaches and grill the other side. Remove peaches from the grill and set aside.
In the work bowl of your food processor, add the grilled peaches, brown sugar, lemon juice, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend until very smooth. Add this mixture to your ice cream maker. It
takes 20 minutes for the mixture to freeze.
Eaten immediately out of the ice cream maker, this ice cream's texture is similar to soft serve ice cream. You may also scrape the mixture into a food storage container and harden it in the freezer which will give you a more scoop-able consistency. Just remember to remove ice cream from the freezer 10 minutes before serving so it's easier to scoop.
To serve scoop a generous portion of Grilled Peach Ice Cram into a bowl. Serve alongside warm grilled peaches and a sprig of mint.
Makes 4 servings.