Summer Yum – Homemade Key Lime and Peach Ice Creams

Summer!  Visions of cold things go through my head in this heat and humidity:  popsicles, salads, watermelon, lemonade, ice cream….I scream, you scream, we all really do scream for ice cream.

Back in the home days, Sunday afternoons were the time of sitting on the porch, watching our neighbors slowly walking past or sometimes, we’d be the ones walking.  On the front porch in one of the big ol’ porch rockers – back and forth, back and forth.  The occasional sweet trill of a cardinal, smell of flowers heavy in the air, desultory conversation, head droops, snaps back up, droops again…down for the count.  Out like a light but then….

Sounds coming through the house: the ice cream churn being hauled out, milk and cream being beaten together, Papa backing the car out to go to Durham Ice Company to purchase a big bag of ice for ice cream.

During fruit season, strawberry and peach were the hands down favorite. No argument from anyone. Vanilla was perfectly acceptable as well and sometimes, crushed pineapple and juice would be added along with freshly grated coconut and coconut milk. The churn would be filled and carefully placed in the tub. The lid with the paddle (dasher) would be inserted and the lid put on. Then the churner would be fitted over top and latched down. Now comes the science magic part: crushed ice in a small layer, a good sprinkling of ice cream salt, another layer of ice and on up to the top. The last layer would just be ice to keep any salt from sneaking into the tub. Now the churning. The crank would be cranked and soon, ice would form inside the tub. You could tell because it would not move as quickly. Slower turning now. harder to turn – tip slightly so water could be poured from the water hole and then carefully tipped back. More ice, more salt. We’d all take turns with the turning but at some point, it would get so hard to turn, Papa or Grandpa had to do it. Finally, they’d grunt and say, that’s it. Clean ice would be placed to cover and a towel draped over all. The hard part: letting it rest and continue to harden for about 20 more minutes.

Now?…Now??…WHEN??????? and the magic moment. Towel taken off, parts removed and carefully, the lid lifted off. it was always magical to look and see the tub full of ice cream – thick and rich and fragrant with vanilla, fruit, lemon, lime…A special large, long handled spoon was used to dip out the ice cream into eagerly proffered bowls. Then the ritual settling about in the rockers, porch swing, porch steps. Sometimes a next door family would be invited or a couple of passersby. My aunts and I used to quarrel over who got the dash to lick and scrape clean. My great grandfather would settle the argument by taking it for himself. As an adult, when I purchased my first ice cream churn, I took the dash for myself.

Some things to know about home made ice cream: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Let the ice cream mixture thoroughly chill in the fridge for 2 – 4 hours. Acids added to the milk/cream (strawberries, lemon juice, lime juice) will cause it to naturally thicken. Because homemade ice cream does not have the stabilizers, artificial additives, of store ice cream, it will get hard in your freezer and maybe get icy. My advice is: eat it all up!!!! The higher the fat content, the softer it may be. More cream than milk might just get you a fluffy, buttery textured ice cream. Use fruits in season for best taste. Frozen fruits can be used. If using a low acid fruit like peaches or bananas, add some lemon or lime juice for that thickening effect.

WARNING: Homemade ice cream will ruin you for store bought. Homemade gelatos, sherbets, Italian ices, ice milk, ice cream are all able to be made in the home ice cream churn. Good ones can be bought for not as much money as you think. I’ve included recipes for Key Lime Ice Cream and for Peach Ice Cream. Use your imagination. But always let chill and taste to adjust for flavor. If using an ice cream maker that that has the opening to add ingredients, save some of your pureed fruit to add at the last for a different texture and layer of flavor. Some ice creams have a custard base. I do not use a custard base for my ice cream. If I do, then I am making frozen custard, not ice cream.

Key Lime Ice Cream (or Lemon)
2 c. sugar
½ cup lime juice (or lemon)
Zest of one/two limes – 2 tbs. worth
4 cups buttermilk (can use fat free)

Stir sugar, lemon juice and peel in medium bowl. Add buttermilk; stir until sugar dissolves. Chill until cold, about 4 hours. Process mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to container with lid; freeze. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep frozen.)

Peach Ice Cream
3 cups fresh ripe peaches, peeled and crushed
Reserve 1/2 cup peaches
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-1/2 cup sugar, divided
1-1/4 cups whole milk
2-3/4 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a small bowl, combine the peaches with the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Stir gently and allow the strawberries to macerate in the juices for 1/2 hour. In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and remaining granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream, mashed peaches, and vanilla. Put the mixture into fridge and let chill for 2-4 hours. Stir and taste. Adjust flavors if necessary. Pour into freezer bowl and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Five minutes before mixing is completed, add the reserved peaches and let mix in completely. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

Photo credit:  public domain images: peach ice cream

Photo credit: public domain images: peach ice cream




76 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 01:19:19

    Yum. I grew up with home-made ice cream and ice cream socials. I hadn’t thought about this delicacy in a very long time.


    • kanzensakura
      Jun 30, 2014 @ 20:56:47

      I hope you will make some, soon!


      • sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.
        Jul 02, 2014 @ 06:15:51

        I’ve combed my diabetic cookbooks and have everything worked out. Tom did all the cooking until he became so ill this last time. I hadn’t done anything but feed and water our dogs. I’m really trying hard to fix what’s good for us. I have a ton of issues with my digestive system so on top of being diabetic, I have a real picky system to deal with. I’m using half & half and fresh peaches and strawberries are both in season now. Tomorrow is homemade ice cream day (I am going to lick the paddle) but just as soon as Tom is strong enough, I’ll share. I’m also going to make a cake of some kind. This is the first time ever I haven’t had to worry about calories. I simply have to watch carbs.
        I saw my therapist today and she asked me what I wanted to do for the 4th and it just popped out of my mouth. I told her I wanted to have an ice cream social and she asked me why not. So, I’m going to organize one for the neighborhood and see what happens – who knows – plus some friends. Thanks for getting me started on something positive.


        • kanzensakura
          Jul 02, 2014 @ 08:13:32

          I don’t think of carbs and I should do that more. I tend to think of fat content. I’ve been on Weight Watchers the last couple of months. My aunt, who is diabetic uses both for herself and her husband who has cardiac issues. The Dr told my aunt about18 years ago to start watching her diet or she would have to be on diabetic medication and eventually insulin. She is still controlling via her diet! She also has digestive issues as well – the typle of colitis that flares when a seed is eaten. The poor thing can’t have anything with a peel or seeds. Grapes! I never thought of them as having a peel, you know? She has taken to one of my favorite breakfasts: oatmeal topped with fresh chopped peach. I dread the end of peach season! I adjust my diet so I can indulge in the homemade ice cream. I have found the fat free buttermilk is good for citrus ice creams. I tried the fat free half and half but it was full of things I couldn’t pronounce that I didn’t use it anymore after the container was through. I have found that fat free evaporated milk adds an excellent texture. Bernice, over at Realistic Cooking for Busy People has some excellent recipes and because like us, she is busy with husband and profession, she has come up with some good recipes and healthy ones. She went to a women’s retreat back in April and was wowed by mini-desserts. That’s why, even though the ice cream is so very rich, you don’t need a whole bowl, although it is so good, it is hard to resist. I taught my Sunday School class of teens how to do homemade ice cream, several different types. I used my small scoop I use when doing cookies instead of a regular sized scoop. they were able to try several different kinds and not get all full and bloated.
          I hope the ice cream social goes well for you! I think that is a really fun and cool, in all kinds of ways, social event. Something about ice cream in how it brings people together and turns us into kids again. My Cuisinart ice cream maker is a far cry from the crank model, but it is still the same thing – the anticipation of something good and simple and fun. I hope you have a good long weekend and keep on going with the positive stuff. I kow it is hard and have had a hard past few weeks, but I am so danged stubborn. My bud Huntie and I are talking Tess into an ice cream maker and I think we have almost done it!!!! Happy and safe 4th to you.


  2. Line
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 01:35:12

    I want to eat that ice cream!! 🙂 Ice cream is my favorite thing to eat in the whole wide world! 🙂 What is key lime?


  3. Ema Jones
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 02:56:56

    Beat summer with Peach Cobbler


  4. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 08:29:46

    Yum. This sounds delish. When I was a kid, my mother made homemade ice-cream but I don’t know how she did it. We didn’t have an ice-cream maker but I remember how rich and tasty it was. She declared it had been hard work and I cannot recall if she made it again.
    Thanks for the recipe. I shall drool over the words but not the ice-cream. Sigh. ❤


  5. el34ax7
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 10:22:31

    Well, now I feel like I know exactly what it’s like to make ice cream! And you make me feel like I had the childhood I never had but always longed for. Slow porch rocking, ice-cream making, grand-dad powered Sunday afternoons.

    And now I want ice cream. Badly…


  6. T Ibara Photo
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 10:38:12

    My mouth is watering…and it’s almost midnight in Tokyo… 😀


  7. Bernice
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 12:37:56

    What a wonderful story! It felt a bit like the Waltons. 🙂 I made green tea ice cream once and it was really good. But I did make the mistake of not eating it all because what I put back in to the freezer became too hard to eat. It definitely lost some quality.


    • kanzensakura
      Jun 30, 2014 @ 13:30:15

      That’s very true. I usually use leftover for milk shakes. And we were nothing like the Waltons! We are an old and eccentric southern family and I would liken us more to the Addams family 🙂 but we did have our moments. Not having a lot of money, we took our joy from simple things. We were close. I think a lot of folks were closer then – not all the tv shows, soccer matches, going here, going there, cell phone constant yapping…it was a slower and gentler time. It’s good to look back on and try to retrieve some of that in my daily life.


      • Bernice
        Jul 02, 2014 @ 19:55:54

        That is so true – priorities were different – simple things were important.It can be hard to get together with people – especially if they have children involved in sports – they seem to be always taking them somewhere. Tough to connect. I like your comment regarding the Adams family, ha ha 🙂


  8. FlaHam
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 14:37:31

    Kanzen, what is it, do you have a book of “fat pills” that you flip thru and say “oh, goody, Bill will gain 7 pounds when he eats this.” LOL LOL LOL As a child when we visited Grandpa’s farm, after Church and Sunday Dinner, I remember having to take my turn on the hand crank of the home made ice cream machine. We used a lot of rock salt and ice, and I remember the earlier you could do the cranking the easier it was. But I also remember how damn good it was. Take care, thank you for a trip in the wayback machine. — Bill


  9. huntmode
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 19:02:01

    Dog gone you, Kanzen! Two days late! Made my homemade peach ice cream Saturday night; does not look like your picture – maybe I crushed too much? Next time, I’m definitely using your recipe. Loved the atmosphere you gave us, and am trying for that on my Sundays now. Thankful to have the new modern ice cream maker by Cuisinart – $54.00 on Amazon!


  10. Trackback: Passing it on… | A Taste of Sri Lankan cuisine
  11. Ahila
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 21:31:03

    I love this combination of key lime and peach in an ice-cream. As one of the fourteen posts I enjoyed most this week, I wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for the team readership award – Have a lovely day!


    • kanzensakura
      Jul 01, 2014 @ 01:18:14

      Thank you for your kind comments. Thank you for the award but I do not accept awards. I think it is really sweet of you to do this. Please accept my thanks.


  12. SirenaTales
    Jun 30, 2014 @ 22:28:05

    Oh, YUM–the recipes and the delicious reminiscences! You paint such evocative pictures with your poetic, and humorous, descriptions, my friend. Thank you so much for sending me off to bed with such sweet images, Kanzen. xoxo


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