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Will Dickey

When summer rolls around, we can count on two things: ice cream in our freezer and peaches in our fruit bowl. That’s why we decided to combine the two treats for a delightful and fresh peach ice cream that’s even better than the kind you’ll find in the frozen aisle—and it’s easy, too! Just ask Ree Drummond. She loves homemade ice cream so much that she even has her own Pioneer Woman ice cream maker for whipping up frozen treats whenever her craving strikes. In the summer, that’s pretty often!

How do you make peach ice cream from scratch?

Homemade ice cream is easier than you probably think. Sure, it take a little bit of planning (the ice cream needs to chill for at least 4 hours or overnight), but it’s so worth it. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Start with a custard base (made from egg yolks, sugar and heavy cream).

2. Give the custard a sweet and tart flavor with buttermilk and fresh peach puree. Cooking the peaches helps to break them down and cook out some of their moisture, an important step to ensure the ice cream doesn’t become icy.

3. All that’s left to do is wait for the base to chill, then transfer it to an ice cream maker to churn.

Do I need to peel the peaches?

Not necessarily! Cooking and pureeing the peaches helps to break down the skin so you don’t need to peel them. The skin also gives the ice cream a lovely pink-orange hue. Of course, if you prefer to peel the peaches, it’s easy to do. Once cut into wedges, simply use your fingers or a paring knife to peel off the skin. (We don’t recommend a vegetable peeler here, since the tender peaches will probably fall apart under the blade of a peeler).

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Prep Time:





fresh peaches, pitted and diced


cold whole buttermilk

cold whole buttermilk

  1. In a small pot combine the diced peaches and ¼ cup sugar. Bring them to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit breaks down, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree for 15 to 20 seconds (leaving some bits of fruit intact). Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a medium pot, combine the remaining ¾ cup sugar, heavy cream and a pinch of salt. Bring them to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, just until the sugar is dissolved (do not boil). Remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Remove 1/3 cup of the warm cream mixture from the pot and slowly drizzle it into the egg mixture, while whisking constantly, to temper. Transfer the warmed egg mixture to the pot with heavy cream, whisking well to combine. Return to the heat, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and corners of the pan, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon (the temperature should be between 160˚ and 180˚). Immediately pour the custard through a mesh strainer into a large bowl and set it over a bowl of ice water. Stir to cool the mixture slightly. Add the peach puree and the cold buttermilk and stir until the mixture comes to room temperature. Refrigerate the ice cream base for 4 hours until cold, or overnight.
  4. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You can eat it directly from the machine, like soft serve, or transfer to a container to freeze for at least 4 hours, up to 48 hours, for best texture and scoop-a-bility.

A loaf pan (9-inch by 5-inch) makes a great vessel for freezing this ice cream after making it. It gives you a good, long surface to pull a round scoop.

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