This Sweet Corn and Peach Ice Cream was inspired by a few of my favorite summer foods, as well as an unforgettable evening a few years ago at the Minnesota State Fair with some of my best friends. I wait months and months to nibble on that first ear of “peaches and cream” sweet corn (the bi-colored variety) picked up from a roadside farmers stand. So sweet and crunchy, it doesn’t even need to be cooked, nor buttered. At about the same time beautiful, ripe Georgia peaches make their short appearance, kissed with a crimson blush and a juiciness that has you slurping, trying to keep your chin dry. I enjoy them best the classic way – thinly sliced and drizzled with the best local cream I can find.
As I sit on our deck amongst a warm summer night’s air enjoying a few quickly melting scoops of this treat, crickets chirping keeping me company, my mind drifts back to the first time I experienced sweet corn ice cream. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
It was the summer of 2011 and myself along with 5 of my best girlfriends were making the rounds at the state fair, eating and drinking our way through both new and iconic foods, as well as partake in lots of laughing and fun. As dusk was setting and the lights of the Midway guided our path, we tracked down the dessert that everyone was talking about – Sweet Corn Ice Cream topped with your choice of sauces: butter bacon or wild blueberry. We got one of each, thinking that would be plenty, as our stomachs were close to their limit. Hah, who we were kidding? We all looked at one each other with that “Holy moly, why I have never discovered this combination before?” face when we dug into the scoops topped with blueberry sauce. With no shame, we finished off three more orders and basked in a moment of friendship and common ties.
And from there this version of sweet corn ice cream was born in my own kitchen. As much as I enjoy the two main ingredients separately, I’m in a love affair with them churned together. Using Jeni’s method for the rich and creamy texture, it’s studded with both diced peaches and a jamlike swirl so there’s a little bit of peach in every bite. And as a surprise every so often, you’ll find a few kernels of sweet corn peaking through.
On a side note if you’re making your way out to Minnesota’s great get together this summer, I’ll be talking gluten free state fair food and Minnesota wine pairings with the talented Stephanie Meyer on September 1st at 3:30 pm so stop by and say hi! For more details, click here.
2 cups whole milk
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
4 teaspoons cornstarch
3 ounces cream cheese
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
¼ t salt
1 T lemon juice
2 ripe peaches, skinned and chopped
1 c raw kernels and reserved cobs (1 c usually equals 1 large or 2 small ears)
For peaches: chop and sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons sugar and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice. Let sit for 2 hours, or overnight in refrigerator. Purée half of the peaches with immersion blender and dice remaining peaches. Set both aside.
1. In a bowl, stir together 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch; set slurry aside. Cut kernels off cob of corn and cut cob into large chunks; reserve kernels and cob together. In a 4-qt. saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream, sugar, syrup, and salt; add corn kernels and cob and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes; stir in slurry. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine strainer into a bowl and set 3 T of kernels aside.
2. Place cream cheese in a bowl and pour in 1/4 cup hot milk mixture; whisk until smooth. Then whisk in remaining milk mixture. Pour mixture into a plastic bag; seal, and submerge in a bowl of ice water until chilled. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker; process according to manufacturer’s instructions. With about 5 minutes left on the churning time, add in diced peaches & kernels.
3. In a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap, pour half of ice cream in. Then pour pureed peaches in layer on top and swirl, then remaining ice cream. Freeze until firm.