Sunday, November 2, 2008

Peach-Quince Ice Cream

The best of summer and fall

In mid-October, Jacques Neukom's stall at the Arcata Farmers Market was selling organic late summer peaches, appropriately named Sweet September. Not as juicy as summer peaches, but a sweet, delicious free-stone fruit nonetheless and a wonderful surprise just when you thought peach season was over. At about the same time, wonder of wonders, my fickle quince bush produced a massive amount (for it) of quinces that fairly begged to be included in this ice cream. Some of them, anyway. The rest are languishing in the fridge waiting for me to become inspired to make a tarte Tatin, or something stewish. . .

Christine's Peach-Quince Ice Cream
Ingredients:1/2 cup (heaping) quince cubes, peeled, cored and cubed in 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons fine sugar
2 tablespoons water
4 large Sweet September peaches, pitted and sliced into eighths
3 medium eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
1 cup cream or half n half

To prepare the quince, heat the diced fruit with 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until a low boil is reached. Cook over low heat until the quince becomes fall-apart soft and the liquid has reduced, about 6 minutes. Watch the pan carefully so the ingredients don't scorch or it will begin to jel right in front of your eyes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
To continue with the ice cream, buzz the sliced peaches with the quince in a food processor until smoothly puréed. Set aside.
Beat the eggs with the 1/3 cup sugar until pale yellow and thickened.
Heat the milk to a simmer, slowly pour 1/3 of it into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then return to the remaining milk in the pan and heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon and has thickened slightly. Watch carefully that the custard doesn't curdle.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir the fruit purée into the custard, blending completely.
Pour into a glass container and chill until very cold, at least 6 hours or overnight.*
Stir the custard before freezing in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Serve soft from the ice cream maker or freeze, tightly covered, for several hours to firm.

Cook's Notes:
> Whole, 2%, 1%, or skim milk may be used to make this ice cream, as can cream or half & half. Whatever you use will determine the creaminess, or not, of the finished product. The less fat you use, the more ice crystals in the ice cream.
> * Some folks might want to strain the custard before pouring it into the glass container for chilling. I don't usually do this because I like the texture of tiny peach skin and quince pieces in the ice cream. By all means, go ahead and strain if it suits you.

Copyright © 2005-2008, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved


  1. Really neat recipe! I've never heard of "quince" before - but it looks good. This recipe intrigues me! I hope to one day be able to try some quince - the "quince flowers" from your other post are beautiful!

  2. I think quince are an under-appreciated fruit. And you, Christine, just gave us all a reason to love it.

  3. this sounds amazing.
    Too bad we can't get peaches in Hawaii this late in the season. I've never heard of quince I'll have to see if I can find it here.

  4. Sounds a great combination

  5. Thanks so much, Jenn.

    I couldn't agree with you more, Susan, about quince being underappreciated.

    Good luck with your quince search, Lauren.

    Thanks so much, Anne.

  6. This blog never fails to delight me with its possibilities.

    Christine, this sounds wondeful.

  7. I really, really wish I could taste your ice cream. *sigh*


  8. oh oh oh ! You need to package this up and sell it!

  9. I think you would have liked this one, Paz!

    Thank you so much, Jann. I'm delighted!

  10. This was worth a relook. It would be good with today's creamy potatoes...



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