A juicy, perfectly ripe peach practically salivates with you as you bite into the fragrant, sweet flesh. It is an essential summer pleasure, perhaps made even more pleasant by the ephemeral season of the fruit. From loose pits and cling pits to white or yellow fleshed peaches, varieties abound, but the perfect peach is one that yields slightly to pressure; is not bruised, wrinkled or split at the seam; and has blushing skin with a fiery sunset glow. Keep in mind that peaches will continue to ripen once picked, so the key is to pick fruit that will be perfectly ripe and juicy when you’re ready to make that ice cream.
Besides eating a freshly picked beauty over the sink, my favorite way to enjoy peaches is ice cream churned with amaretto. You can also substitute biscotti liqueur or pit cream. Each of these liqueurs is made from almonds or peach or apricot pits (all members of the prunus family), so they share a similar nutty aroma and flavor that pairs well with stone fruit in desserts. In addition to the complementary flavors these liqueurs lend to the classic mix of peaches and cream, the alcohol dose keeps the ice cream from forming crystals so it stays smooth, scoopable and never gritty. Also try this recipe with ripe nectarines, plums and apricots.
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