Tuesday, June 16, 2009

TWD: Peach-Honey Ice Cream

I'm baaaaaack! Peru was amazing. We hiked the Inca Trail up to Machu Picchu:

And visited various islands on Lake Titicaca, including these crazy floating islands made entirely of reeds:

We explored the rainforest and saw way too many enormous insects and spiders, but also lots of cool stuff, like a whole family of capybaras! Check out the little babies near the bottom. Awwww.We also visited some OG markets in the bigger cities and expanded our pansy American culinary sensibilities:

One of the best parts was stalking the local wildlife and taking photos with whatever poor animal was too slow to evade my grasp. I have tons of pics like these:

Clockwise from top left: rare Andean deer, alpaca (not llama!), tuckered out donkey, Peruvian hairless dog.

However, after several weeks of frequent travel, erratic meals, days without electricity, bathrooms without toilet seats, and non-potable tap water, we are glad to be back home. I am also excited to get back to my dessert (and dessert-blogging) routine. No offense to my Peruvian peeps, but I was decidedly underwhelmed with the desserts we tried. When plain old ice cream is consistently the best thing on the menu, something is wrong.

I guess all the ice cream tasting was in preparation for this week's TWD recipe, though. And what perfect timing: peach-honey ice cream to welcome in the official start of summer next week.

I'm not usually a huge ice cream person, but I was excited about this recipe for nostalgic reasons. Growing up, we had several peach trees in our backyard that always produced tons of peaches every summer. So my childhood is marked by canning peach slices, making sticky peach jam, luscious peach cobblers and pies, and of course, homemade peach ice cream. We had an old machine that used rock salt and ice, and I still remember the vibrant, creamy ice cream bursting with chunks of soft peaches. Well, friends, here is the sad truth: the hard little stones sold as "peaches" at my local market are poor imitators of the soft, juicy, bursting-with-flavor peaches I remember from my childhood backyard. And try as I might, my nostalgia is no match for their bland taste and texture. So while I didn't think this ice cream was bad (on the contrary, I liked the honey addition, and thought the texture was perfect) the lack of strong peach flavor was really disappointing. I may have to try this recipe again the next time I visit my folks and have access to real peaches.

But I can say that the spiced sables I made to accompany the ice cream were terrific. These were based on Dorie's basic sable recipe, and they're absolutely perfect. Love the extra hint of salt, and the sandy texture.

I would also be interested to try this with apricots or plums instead--maybe those'll prove to have a bit more flavor. Happy summer, everyone!


  1. Welcome back! The ice cream looks great! I love your last picture!

  2. Welcome back! The trip sounds like it was amazing! Sorry you weren't able to come back to a dessert you loved though! I hope you like next week's!

  3. Peru sounds amazing, looks like you really enjoyed your holiday!!

    Your ice cream looks pretty good, sorry you were a bit dissapointed by it...

  4. Glad you are back. What a fun trip. Thanks for sharing the photos! The ice cream looks good to me!

  5. Okay... If you'd ask me, I'd have a scoop of you gorgeous ice cream over a goat's head, anytime!!! LOL

    Ahhhh... what a relief, now it's said. LOL

  6. I totally get you on the whole fruit not tasting as good as home grown! I think apricots are just about the worst at that. Farmer's market ones might be okay. Your ice cream does look delish. Love the cookies, too!
    Oh, looks like a great, fun trip, too. Glad you made it back safe!

  7. Welcome back.

    Your ice cream looks fabulous.

  8. Anonymous10:33 AM

    What a fantastic vacation you had!
    Your Honey Peach Ice Cream looks so smooth and delicious! I love the ice cream sandwich with the spiced sables picture - it looks really yummy!

  9. Oh boy. I want to lick the drip off that first photo so badly. Beautifully done!

  10. What a fabulous trip you had! Sorry your peaches let you down; it's hard to find peaches that measure up to fresh from home. I managed to find some nice organic peaches at Whole Foods, but they were still no match for the white peaches on my tree...can't wait till they ripen and I can test Dorie's recipe again.

  11. Anonymous3:20 PM

    It looks so good with the cookies. I think that flavorful fruit is the key to this ice cream.

    Welcome back to the land of good desserts!

  12. The sables look like the perfect serving vehicle for the peach ice cream! Peaches aren't in season here yet, either, so I understand where you're coming from with the lack of peachy flavor.

  13. Anonymous4:43 PM

    Peru is on my top 5 list of places to visit. Your pictures look amazing.

    I love the ice cream sandwiches. They look great. Too bad the ice cream wasn't a complete success.

  14. All that velvety ice cream dribbling down the side of the glass. UUUUMMMM!!!!!!! Fantastic!!

    The flavor was a little bland - except for all my almond.... and those sables would have been perfect.

    Thanks for the Machu Piccu pic. **sigh** and aren't those chinampas wonderful??

    Thanks for coming by for a visit.

  15. AAAAH - that one picture with the animal heads - that's going to give me nightmares!

    Nice trip pics, though - what a great adventure.

  16. Welcome back! Sounds like a great time! Such wonderful photos. And those sables are a great texture and addition.

  17. Looks like you had a great trip! I agree- peaches at the grocery store are like rocks. It takes weeks for them to ripen in the paper bag! Your ice cream looks great!

  18. were roasted llama or sheep heads REALLY necessary?