vanilla

Homemade Peach Ice Cream

Homemade Peach Ice Cream

I love peaches. For me, peaches always mean summer. My peaches aren’t ripe yet, but I found some at a produce market recently. They were nearly ripe, so I put them in a brown paper bag to help them finish ripening. A few days later, I have a bunch of super tasty, juicy peaches.

Since it is going to be unseasonably warm for the next week, I decided to use some to make ice cream.  I added some vanilla and orange zest for some extra flavor- but mostly just plenty of peaches.

 

Homemade Peach Ice Cream

3-4 ripe peaches

2 c. half and half

1 c. sugar, or to taste

1 T. vanilla

1 T.  orange zest

Peel and dice peaches. Cook in a small amount of water and a little sugar until tender. If you don’t precook the peaches they will be icy and hard in the ice cream. Cool and drain. In bowl combine half and half and sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Place in ice cream machine and process according to manufacturer’s directions. If you don’t have an ice cream maker place mixture in a shallow pan and freeze solid. Remove from freezer and allow to soften a little at room temperature then break up into chunks and place in a mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer until smooth and return to freezer. Makes 1 quart.

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

Vanilla Pudding

Homemade pudding is easy to make and tastes great. If you never made pudding before- the effort is well worth it. The actual cooking only takes a few minutes. The most difficult part is waiting for the pudding to cool down.

I was making white cupcakes and had some egg yolks leftover. It seemed like a perfect time to use them to make pudding.

To keep your pudding from getting lumpy- don’t heat it up too quickly. You want the egg yolks to cook slowly, to thicken the pudding, without turning into scrambled eggs. Cooking over medium heat will give you perfect, creamy results every time. Also, whisk the whole time the pudding is on the heat to give you the best results.

 

Vanilla Pudding

 

4½ c. milk or half and half

1 c. sugar

5 T. cornstarch

6 large egg yolks, beaten

1 T. vanilla extract

Heat 4 cups of the milk in a large saucepan, over medium heat, until milk starts to steam. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together in a  bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks and the remaining ½ cup of milk. Whisk half of the hot milk into the egg mixture until smooth, then gradually whisk the egg-milk mixture into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until it has thickened. about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool slightly, stirring a few times to prevent a skin from forming. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding and refrigerate until completely cooled and thickened, about 4 hours. Whisk before serving. Makes about 5 cups.

 

Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla Beans in Sugar

Vanilla Beans in Sugar

Some specialty stores sell vanilla sugar and it is expensive. I find it easy to just make my own. Vanilla sugar can be used in baking or to top desserts and in tea and other drinks. I loved to sprinkle vanilla sugar on sugar cookies and on muffins, too.

I buy vanilla beans by the pound online and use them in cooking and to make my own vanilla extract.

To make vanilla sugar just cut vanilla beans in half lengthwise and then into 1 inch pieces. Place granulated sugar in a jar and add the vanilla beans. Cover jar and shake once in awhile. The sugar is fragrant in about a week but will get stronger the longer it sits. I use one vanilla bean per cup of sugar and will add more sugar to the jar as I use it at least a few times.

Here is the info on making vanilla extract.

http://thecharmedkitchen.com/2013/11/24/vanilla-extract/

 

 

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