Believe it or not, there's a goodly amount of songs out there about peaches or by bands who have the word "peaches" in their name. I've always loved the quirkiness of this song though. Apparently, the lead singer, Chris Ballew, had a crush on a girl in high school who happened to have a peach tree in her yard. One can only assume that the more peaches he ate, the more time he could spend with this girl - or at least standing in her yard staring at her house - which sounds exactly like something one would do in their teen years! All I know is that I love peaches - no matter whose yard is hosting the trees! Country or city - peaches will be mine! Oh yes, they will be mine!
One of my favorite gifts we received for our wedding was an ice cream maker. It really stood out among all the "necessary" items a couple receives when beginning their life together. Don't interpret this as ingratitude for all of those "necessary" things. We couldn't have done without them! Scraping food off the table for lack of plates would not have been very appetizing or romantic. But the ice cream maker seemed such a novelty - such a frivolity!
We couldn't use it much at first - mostly for lack of funds for the ingredients required to make ice cream - namely the cream. Our budget was ultra tight during those school years. But, occasionally, we'd splurge and enjoy some delicious homemade ice cream.
This ice cream maker traveled all over the country with us - from Utah to New York, back to Utah, then on up here to Washington - where it finally died.
But, before it's demise, in July of 1992, I was thumbing through my copy of Better Homes & Garden and saw the recipe for this Peach Cheesecake Ice Cream. Being a family of peach lovers AND ice cream lovers AND cheesecake lovers, I figured I'd probably have to give it a try. We were fresh out of school at the time and I felt positively extravagant going and buying the cream cheese, cream, nectar, and fresh fruit to make it. I've never regretted it. It was DIVINE! An instant family favorite.
I've made little changes to the recipe over the years, like adding some actual graham cracker crust to the mix - either homemade or store-bought. I also use lower fat ingredients than originally called for and, believe me, you don't miss it! It's luxuriously creamy and so flavorful.
I now use a Cuisinart ice cream machine - the kind that requires you to freeze the container instead of using ice and rock salt. It works very well and there's less mess. Still - I think of that old one with the big green bucket that stayed with us for so long - and I ponder on how the giver of that gift must have known that, every now and then, we'd want to have a treat. Just take our noses from the grindstone and breathe and enjoy the journey called "Our Life."
Peach Cheesecake Ice Cream
adapted from Better Homes & Garden, July 1992
makes 1 qt.
1 - 8 oz. pkg. of 1/3 less fat cream cheese
3/4 c. sugar
1 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. skim milk
1/4 c. peach nectar or orange juice
2 t. lemon juice
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/8 t. nutmeg
tiny pinch of salt
1 lg. peach, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 graham cracker crust, frozen and broken into pieces (optional)
Combine the cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until well-combined. Slowly add the cream and mix well. By going slowly you will ensure a smooth assembly. Then add the rest of the ingredients except the fresh peaches and graham crust and combine well. Stir in the fresh peaches and, if using, 1/4 of the graham cracker crust. Using regular graham crackers can result in a soggy graham texture. By using the crust preparation, the butter in the crust helps coat the graham, protecting the texture and flavor.
Pour the mixture into the container of your ice cream machine and process following the instructions for your machine. Scoop the mixture into an airtight container and freeze.
To serve, scoop into a bowl and garnish with some more of the graham cracker crust bits.