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GardenSMART :: Summer Blues Pair Perfectly With Peaches

Summer Blues Pair Perfectly With Peaches

By Tommy C. Simmons, An enthusiastic cook
Photograph courtesy of Tommy C. Simmons

Our Waleska, GA friends, Rick and Patti Whiteside, know how to grow blueberries. Every year their shrubs are covered with plump, dusty blue blueberries. They pick and pick and invite friends to come over and do the same. By the end of summer, the Whitesides have enough blueberries put away in the freezer to last until the following year.

I hope many of you GardenSmart enthusiasts also have access to an abundance of fresh blueberries. Blueberries are easy to freeze. Just plop them in a freezer bag, evacuate the air from the bag, seal and freeze. When ready to cook or eat them, remove as many blueberries as you need from the bag. Rinse the blueberries and enjoy.

I had a few peaches left and decided to pair the peaches with a handful of blueberries in a frozen dessert.  The dessert is even better tasting the second day, so if you have time to make it ahead, please do so.

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Summer fruits stand out in a creamy, frozen dessert.

Home kitchen-tested recipe

Peach and Blueberry Ice Cream Loaf

Serves 6 to 8.  Adapted recipe is originally from Southern Living magazine.

4 cups fruit, combination of sliced peaches and blueberries
½ cup water
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
¼ tsp. lemon zest
Dash of cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pint premium vanilla ice cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream

  1. Combine fruit with water, granulated sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and vanilla extract in a saucepan. Stir and heat over medium high heat to bring fruit mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Remove the vanilla ice cream from the freezer and thaw at room temperature for about 20 minutes. You don’t want the ice cream soupy, just softened enough to be stirrable.
  3. Reserve ½ cup of the peach and blueberry cooled sauce. Cover and put the reserved sauce in the refrigerator.
  4. Add the remaining cooled sauce to the softened ice cream. Gently combine.
  5. Whip the cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold whipped cream into ice cream and fruit mixture and swirl gently with a knife.
  6. Pour into a lightly buttered 9- x 5-inch loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze 6 hours or overnight.
  7. When ready to serve, remove the loaf pan from the freezer, run each side of loaf pan under hot water to loosen the ice cream. Run a knife around the edge of the loaf pan, and turn out onto a cutting board. Cut into ¾-inch thick slices, place on serving plates. Top with reserved peach and blueberry sauce from the refrigerator. Serve immediately.

Testing note: If I use peaches only, instead of vanilla, I use ¼ tsp. almond extract to flavor the fruit and sugar. I also like to warm the reserved sauce for 10 to 15 seconds in the microwave before pouring over the ice cream slices.


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