July – National Ice Cream Month – is pretty much peak season for nectarines.
What better way to celebrate both than to combine them into one delicately sweet dessert?
The light, bright and almost-lemony stone fruit complements the frozen dessert’s creaminess on its own. But its fragrant sweetness is enhanced with almond, maple and vanilla extracts, brown sugar, warm spices and nuts like almonds or pecans.
Or, if you want to be adult about it, a bit of bourbon brings out even more sweetness.
I did some experimenting, making two batches of nectarine ice cream – one relatively plain, the other doctored. I liked the one with more ingredients – and a hint of saltiness – better.
Maple Nectarine with Cinnamon and Roasted, Salted Almonds
1 pint heavy cream
1 pint whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup pureed nectarines (about 4 to 5 large, pitted)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, to taste
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1 cup roasted, salted almonds
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, milk and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a low boil. Pour mixture into a medium-size bowl and cool quickly by placing in a large bowl of ice water and stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. When mixture is cool, add pureed fruit, extracts, salt and spices, stirring until well combined. Transfer to ice cream maker and use according to manufacturer’s instructions. Gently fold in almonds. Transfer to a freezer-safe container, then place in freezer.
Note: To make the plain maple nectarine version, use ingredients through maple extract.