Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Southern Hem. Christmas

In my house we have been talking a lot about normals. I use the word in a plural sense because there is no one single normal in the world. Normal is just a word that describes what you're used to. A lot of it is cultural and a lot of it is the traditions within your family.

Because my daughter is getting married soon, she has been exploring what her "normals" are versus what her fiancee's "normals" are in order to defuse conflict. A lot of blazing rows could be avoided by realizing that it's not right or wrong to have popcorn strings on the Christmas tree, it's just what you grew up with.

At a recent family party, Sarah was chatting about Christmas with the aunt from Australia who said that in her mind Christmas is a warm time and everyone goes to the beach on Christmas day. No images of snowmen, mittens, hot cocoa, and sledding associated with Christmas. Definitely no hoping for a white Christmas.

I've been thinking about this and realized that in my blog I've been neglecting my Southern Hemisphere friends. While I'm happy as a clam firing up the oven for two batches of cookies a day, it might not be that appealing in the middle of their summer. So here is a Christmas present for all of you who have balmy Christmas weather. Yes, this is a leftover from our summer, but I hope you'll enjoy it anyway. It's creamy, dreamy, bursting with fresh peach flavor, and easy, peasy to make. No custard to contend with, so less time at a hot stove!

Peach Ice Cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

1-1/3 lbs (600 g) ripe peaches (about 4 large peaches)
1/2 cup (125 ml) water
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
A few drops freshly squeezed lemon juice

Peel the peaches, slice them in half, and remove the pits. Cut the peaches into chunks and cook them with the water in a medium, nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, covered, stirring once or twice, until soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat, stir in the sugar, then cool to room temperature.

Puree the cooked peaches and any liquid in a blender or food processor with the sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla, and lemon juice until almost smooth but slightly chunky.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

If you like to have actual chunks of peach in your ice cream, peel an extra peach and dice it. Add this peach to the mixture after you've processed it before you put it in the refrigerator or add it in the last 5 minutes of freezing.


Aunt Kristina said...

You know, it's true. Everyone grows up with "white christmas" and "frosty" but they may never actually see snow. I love snow but we rarely get it here. However, it's nice to remember that no matter what, the bottom line is good food and being with family and friends. Merry Christmas and I'm looking forward to many more recipes!

Anonymous said...

My husband is South African and he thinks Christmas is throwing a steak on the Braa and relaxing in the shade.
Ice cream is good whether is hot or cold outside. A peach ice cream sounds wonderful!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

I agree, there really is no such thing as a universal "normal" - just what YOU'RE used to. More like a habit or tradition.

It's quite frigid where I am, so we'll DEFINITELY be having a white Christmas - to me, that's normal and festive :0)

haha, just LOOKING at that peach ice cream is making me cold!! looks quite refreshing though.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

A very thoughtful gift for those in the southern hem. The ice cream sounds very lovely and might just come in handy in Dallas as on days like today it's 70°.
And normal is just what we get used to in so many things.

Peabody said...

Very thoughtful of you! And what a tasty treat. I'm freezing right now so I could not see me eating ice cream...but I could. :)

Marcia said...

I live in Brazil, and Christmas is usually very hot here. Thanks for thinking of those who don't get snow too! Peaches are one of my favorite fruits; this ice cream seems heavenly! Merry Christmas!

Nora B. said...

Lynn, I do appreciate your thoughtfulness for us downunder. Peaches and other stone fruits are very much in season, so this recipe is perfect!

Anonymous said...

I'm still toying with the idea of making it to the boxing day sales tomorrow to see if I can pick up a cheap ice cream maker...on the one hand, I'd be able to try recipes like this, but on the other hand, I wouldn't be able to STOP making them...which doesn't bode well for my freezer or my waistline!

Sigh. While I deliberate, I will just have to imagine how good a fresh peach icecream tastes!

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench