Summer’s Best Peach Ice Cream and a Beamer Update on Rabies Vaccine Paralysis

An apple is an excellent thing — until you have tried a peach. – George du Maurier

It would not be summertime here in the South without peaches.  And lots of them.  Luscious and ripe Georgia and South Carolina peaches are available almost everywhere you look, particularly on the back roads and in local Farmers’ Markets.  Nothing says “Summer” more than walking into a roadside fruit and vegetable stand and experiencing the aroma of ripe fresh peaches that fills the air.  Juicy and sweet peaches are perfect when eaten plain and are even better when transformed into freshly baked crisps and cobblers or simply seared on the grill.

Osage Farmers' Market in Clayton, Georgia

While many people associate peaches with Georgia (Is the saying “A Georgia peach” familiar?), our favorite peaches are from South Carolina.  South Carolina freestone peaches are beautiful in color and are a bit sweeter (to us) and juicer.  They are also easy to work with when you need to remove the pits.  Freestone means just that and making jams, ice creams and pies is simplified when you don’t have to pry the pit from the ripe flesh of the peach.

I have been known to be a bit peach obsessed in the past, but this summer we have been busy traveling and have not had the opportunity to take full advantage of the summer’s bounty.  Now that there is some quiet time, I have been back in the kitchen with peaches again.  This crostata from Lidia Bastianich was outstanding and was bursting with the flavor of the fresh peaches, much in the same way that this Peach Ice Cream does.

This peach ice cream is bursting with a fresh peach flavor from the peach purée and fresh peach chunks

There are two pounds of peaches in the ice cream.  Part of that mixture is puréed and added to the custard and minimizes the richness of the heavy cream and egg mixture.  Two cups of chopped peaches are set aside and added at the end to incorporate big chunks of fresh peaches in the ice cream.  The flavor was all about the seasonally perfect peaches and the resulting texture was a bit lighter than a true custard-based ice cream, almost approaching a gelato in texture.

As with all homemade ice creams, it is best to enjoy them either freshly churned (for a soft-serve texture) or after a few hours in the freezer when they are firmer but still easy to scoop for serving.  Be sure to cover the top of the ice cream mixture with a piece of plastic wrap pressed firmly against the ice cream to avoid the formation of ice crystals and then seal the container tightly with a lid if you are storing it in the freezer for any length of time.  I prefer homemade ice cream that is served the same day and no longer than a few days after making it.

This ice cream tastes just like a fresh peach!

On another note, I have received several inquiries about our dog Beamer and his current health status.  As you may remember, Beamer became paralyzed in February of this year following a rabies booster and was very ill, almost to the point of us having to put him down.  I have posted updates on Facebook (both for friends and on Bunkycook’s Facebook page), but many of you may not see those.  Of course, you are welcome to “Like” Bunkycooks on Facebook to receive the most current updates.  😉

Our boy Beamer

We hung in there with Beamer through a very long and difficult period (about three months) and after much love and care, many emergency doctor visits and treatments, Prednisone, subcutaneous fluids and hydrotherapy, we have our boy back.  While he is not 100%, we feel incredibly fortunate that he is still with us and is doing very well.  His legs still quiver and shake from the damage to his nerves and muscles and he is not able to do some of the more strenuous activities he used to do like jumping on the bed, but he handles the steps just fine.  He is back to running in the yard and is jumping up on his/or Dad’s chair, but tires quickly.  This video from May 2012 is the most recent one we have of Beamer playing in the house after his recovery.

Beamer will be eleven years old this December and we think he is just amazing for pulling through this terrible time.  As a family, we have seen some very difficult medical problems in the past eleven years.  Going through these challenges has taught us that good doctors, good medicine, good friends, lots of prayers and a positive attitude can heal.  It worked for us and we are happy to say that it worked for Beamer.

Beamer always comes running when you say the word "biscuit"!

Enjoy the rest of your summer and I hope you can find some wonderful local peaches wherever you are!

Here are some of my favorite recipes using South Carolina peaches:

Peach Sorbet

Brandied Peach Ice Cream

Summer Berry and Peach Crisp

Free-Form Peach Crostata

Peach Freezer Jam

Peach Melba Jam

Peach Butter

Brandied Peaches

Peach Cheesecake Pots with a Biscotti Crumble

Peach Ice Cream

Yield: Makes approximately 2 quarts

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 14 hours (with macerating the peaches and chilling the custard)


2 pounds ripe peaches (I used nicely ripened South Carolina peaches)
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
1 3/4 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract


1. Cut an X in bottom of each peach, then blanch in boiling water 15 seconds. Transfer with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to stop cooking. Peel peaches and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Toss with lemon juice and 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar in a large bowl. Let macerate, covered and chilled, at least 8 hours.

2. Whisk together cornstarch, 1/4 tsp salt, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a heavy medium saucepan. Add cream and milk and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Add to yolks in a slow stream, whisking constantly, to temper, then pour mixture back into saucepan.

3. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, just until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer, 1 to 2 minutes (mixture will be thick). Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl and stir in extracts. Chill custard, its surface covered with parchment paper (to prevent a skin from forming), until cold, at least 4 hours.

4. Transfer 2 cups peaches with slotted spoon to a bowl.

5. Purée remaining peaches and liquid in a blender until smooth. Add purée to custard and freeze in ice cream maker (following your manufacturer's directions), then transfer to a bowl and stir in reserved peaches.

6. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, about 2 hours. *Be sure to seal the top of the ice cream mixture tightly with a piece of plastic wrap pressed firmly against the ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming. Top with the lid's airtight container until ready to use.

June 2008

19 Responses to “Summer’s Best Peach Ice Cream and a Beamer Update on Rabies Vaccine Paralysis”

  1. 1

    Liren — July 23, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

    I love that quote, Gwen. And I would love nothing more than to sit down with a generous helping of this peach ice cream! I’m so glad to hear that Beamer is doing better at home, he is certainly a trooper, and a cutie :)

    • Gwen replied: — July 27th, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

      Thank you, Liren. Beamer is definitely a trooper and a cutie. We adore our boy.

  2. 2

    Susan in the Boonies — July 24, 2012 @ 9:54 am

    Hooray for Beamer’s amazing recovery! Good boy!!!

    I’ll be on the ubiquitous Peachtree Street of Atlanta on Thursday, and will certainly think of you. I pricelined a room, and didn’t get the hotel I was hoping for, but it will be fine.

    Summer just wouldn’t be summer without peaches, would it?

    • Gwen replied: — July 27th, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

      Hi Susan,

      We will meet someday. I promise. It’s been crazy with all of the travel. We will have to plan a date.

      Yes, summer is all about the peaches!!


  3. 3

    Marie — July 24, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    Love the update on Beamer and the wonderful mouth-watering peaches.

    • Gwen replied: — July 24th, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

      Hi Marie,

      Yes, they are truly mouth-watering. :-) I know that some readers have been wondering about Beamer, so I thought it was time to share the good news and an update. We are very lucky to have him with us and doing so well.


  4. 4

    William — July 24, 2012 @ 11:51 am

    I’ve been buying Pearson peaches from GA all summer and they’ve been fantastic. Since you’re in Atlanta, you should try them. They’re in most farmers markets.

    • Gwen replied: — July 24th, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

      Hi William,

      Thank you for the suggestion. I have tried some of the local Georgia peaches that Whole Foods sells. They could be the Pearson peaches as that sounds familiar. They were quite good. I realize it is all personal preference and certainly any of our great Georgia or South Carolina peaches will work well in these recipes. We are fortunate that we have access to these peaches during the summer months. We eat them as much as we can while they are in season!


  5. 5

    Ronnie Campbell — July 24, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

    I’m a big fan of Lidia Bastianich, and you, too, Gwen! Great interview and can’t wait to try the peach crostada and the ice cream. I’m so glad Beamer is better, too…great news!

    • Gwen replied: — July 27th, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

      Hi Ronnie,

      Thank you and yes, you definitely need to make the peach crostata and the ice cream. Both are excellent recipes.


  6. 6

    chewoutloud — July 25, 2012 @ 1:19 am

    Yummy! Love, love peaches in the summer. Peaches and ice cream, the perfect treat :) Looks fantastic!

  7. 7

    Lisa — July 25, 2012 @ 6:32 am

    2 lbs of peaches in this ice cream? WOW! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a peach ice cream I want more and I’m dead serious! That said, why shouldn’t Carolina peaches be as lovely as GA peaches? Not too far away lol I wonder if I can find free stones around here? I usually look forward to the donut peaches in August, but they are so good, they never make it to baking or ice cream.

    On a Beamer note..I watched that vid back in May..but it was awesome to watch it again and fantastic to learn he’s doing even better. They weren’t kidding when they said it was a loooonnnggg recovery – but worth every second xoxo

    • Gwen replied: — July 27th, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

      Hi Lisa,

      I think you should travel to Georgia and buy some of our great Southern peaches to take home! I know you would love them for baking and eating. Besides, you can come and visit me. 😉

      Beamer’s recovery is exciting and I enjoy watching that video, too.


  8. 8

    Jen at The Three Little Piglets — July 26, 2012 @ 3:10 am

    I’m SO glad to hear that Beamer is doing so much better! I know what a relief that must be to you!

    • Gwen replied: — July 27th, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

      Hi Jen,

      Yes, it is. While he is not 100%, we are thrilled he has recovered as nicely as he has.


  9. 9

    Susan — July 27, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

    Yummy recipes and a great Beamer update – what a wonderful way to end today. I played the video for my Rose and she ran through the house looking for the little barking dog – funny & cute! …sending continued healing prayers and tons of fun for you all.

  10. 10

    Lily — July 30, 2012 @ 9:33 pm

    I lived in Georgia for two years and did not once come across a Georgia peach! I could never figure it out.

    A few years ago I picked up some South Carolina (hmm, or was it North Carolina?) peaches on a road trip and they were beyond delicious!

    Thanks for the Beamer update, so wonderful he is on the other side of that illness!

    • Gwen replied: — July 30th, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

      Hi Lily,

      The reality is that while we live in Georgia and there are peaches everywhere that are local, most major grocery stores carry California peaches throughout the year. If you go to Whole Foods or Harry’s, you will probably find Georgia and/or South Carolina peaches. If you take a road trip this summer, be sure to hit some back roads and Farmers’ Markets where you can find fabulous local peaches. Osage is a larger market that is in Clayton, Georgia on the way to Franklin and Highlands, NC and they have an incredible selection of fresh veggies, corn and SC peaches. We saw numerous vegetable and fruit stands on our way back from Asheville last week. You may need to seek them out, but the local markets with great peaches are out there and I hope you find them!


  11. 11

    JulieD — August 28, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

    I’m a month behind but wanted to say that I’m so glad that Beamer is doing much better. xoxo And this peach ice cream…looks amazing!!

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