A Good Summer Memory
One sip made me think of you. Senses exaggerate, eyes dilate, and there I am with you, barely able to see over the wooden ice cream counter. I request a vanilla ice cream float, knowing you will drink half of it. I’ll share, but I don’t want to. You pay the pimple covered, sweaty boy behind the register; your hands tanned and wrinkled smell of gasoline and fresh grass clippings stick to your khaki pants. Pools of sweat form patterns on your white t-shirt. The fans overhead move slowly, barely able to cut through the thick, humid, summer air. We step outside. The mid-day sun makes herself known and beads of sweat form on our foreheads. I take a big sip. You wait patiently. Bubbles of soda water, now sweet with vanilla ice cream and vanilla syrup, dance on my tongue. I hand it over and you take a long drink. Refreshed and energized from a sugar hit, you are ready to head home and finish the yard work. I grab the spoon sticking out of your pocket and finish the remaining sticky sweet vanilla ice cream. We drive home with windows down, my fingers and mouth still sticky from our perfect summer treat.
This peach buttermilk ice cream float is far from the artificially sweet vanilla ice cream float I shared with my grandfather. The fresh simple syrup hints at peach and the homemade buttermilk ice cream tastes like cheesecake. They are natural companions. The cold sparkling water dilutes the syrup just a bit. As the creamy, tangy ice cream slowly melts, the sweet bubbles begin to dissipate, but still dance on my tongue. I take long sips and think of him on that hot summer day.
Peach Buttermilk Ice Cream Float
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
Buttermilk ice cream barely adapted from Epicurious
Peach Simple Syrup from Minimalist Baker
Ingredients for Peach Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 ripe peaches thinly sliced, more for serving if desired
In a small saucepan, bring sugar, peaches and water to a boil. Lower the heat and crush the peaches with a wooden spoon to infuse flavor. Stir. After the sugar is completely dissolved, cover and remove from heat. Allow to sit for about 30 minutes. Pour the simple syrup into a bottle, over a fine mesh strainer. You can reserve the peaches for the float or eat them. I ate them immediately. Refrigerate the simple syrup until ready to use. It will last, refrigerated, for several days.
Ingredients for Buttermilk Ice Cream
6 large egg yolks
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup raw sugar
pinch of Kosher salt
1 cup cold buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Place a metal bowl in the freezer and chill until cold, at least an hour.
Whisk egg yolks in a bowl. Using a large saucepan, mix together cream, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Slowly whisk half of the hot cream into the egg yolks. Next add the egg mixture to the saucepan. Stir constantly until the custard thickens and can coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Do not boil! Remove from heat once thickened.
Pour cold buttermilk into cold bowl. Using a fine mesh strainer, pour the custard into the buttermilk and whisk. Add vanilla and whisk. Chill mixture, uncovered, for several hours, stirring occasionally. (I think it is best to chill this overnight so it is super cold for your ice cream maker.)
Process custard according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Store ice cream in air-tight container overnight before serving. If you can’t wait that long the ice cream will be more like soft serve. Enjoy!
Peach Buttermilk Ice Cream Float
1/3 cup of peach simple syrup
2 scoops or about 1/2 cup of buttermilk ice cream
Fresh peach slices, optional
Add 2 scoops of ice cream to a glass. Pour in peach simple syrup, followed by sparkling water. Serve immediately with a spoon and straw. Enjoy!
5 Frozen Treat Links!
I made a roasted strawberry and rhubarb frappe that was a huge hit last year. If you missed it, you can find the recipe here.