As I mentioned before, my Nonna gave me 42 peaches. As you can imagine, they weren’t looking that great after a few days, but I knew that they still tasted fantastic. Too ripe to slice nicely and be arranged on a tart or a galette, maybe, but just the right consistency for pureeing.
I didn’t know what anise hyssop was when I saw it in The Flavor Bible, but I did a little research to find out that not only is it a gorgeous perennial, but it tastes like a mixture of anise and mint. It’s sometimes called licorice mint… and many other names, as I found out while trying to hunt down the plant in my local nursery. Agastache seems to be the word you’re looking for, and from what I can tell, some kinds have bushier flowers than the one I got, which was called “Purple Haze.”
I’ve got no green thumb, but I do remember my mom showing me how to pot plants as a kid, squeezing the soil out of the plastic pot, loosening the roots, covering them with potting soil. So that’s what I did with my newly purchased plant, because I didn’t want it taking over my yard. Now I have a pot of anise hyssop alongside my lavender, and the butterflies are totally digging it.
(I’m guessing butterflies would like to get a hold of some of this ice cream, because if I remember my 3rd grade science class, they like sweet things. I’m not so sure if butterflies can eat dairy, though. Maybe they are lactose intolerant.)
I think my only sadness when it comes to homemade ice cream is that I want my ice cream maker to make more ice cream in one sitting. I know there are larger capacity churns, but they don’t do as good a job. And short of buying a commercial ice cream maker, which I think might be a bit excessive, I guess I’ll have to make due with the 1½ quarts I’m allotted. It’s probably for the best, because I would be eating this ice cream morning, noon, and night.
I don’t know what it is about fruit-flavored ice creams, but they get me every time. Strawberry ice cream is my favorite, but this is seriously giving it a run for its money. The pale orange of the ice cream evokes in me a sense of peacefulness, and the flavor is so clean. No eggs to dull the flavor, just creamy peach & herb goodness. This is how I do summer.
- 1½ pounds ripe peaches (about 4-5)
- ¾ cup loosely packed anise hyssop leaves
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon (20 grams) honey
- 1 teaspoon peach schnapps (or vanilla extract)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice peaches in half lengthwise and remove the pits. Place the peaches cut-side up on the baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes, then allow to sit until cool enough to handle. Remove the skins from the peaches. Puree the peaches in a blender until smooth. Strain the peach puree through a fine mesh strainer into a large mixing bowl.
- Roughly chop the hyssop leaves and place them in the bottom of a large saucepan. Cover with cream and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 1 hour. Strain cream through a fine mesh sieve into the bowl of peach puree. Add sugar, honey and schnapps and whisk until the mixture is smooth and uniform. Cover the bowl and chill until the mixture reaches 40°F.
- Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.