A group of Bay Area food bloggers is holding a Farmers’ Market Dinner Party and I get to make my favorite course—dessert! Well, actually, like all good meals, this one has two desserts.
Summer offers a short window for one of the year’s best fruits for cooking or enjoying on its own: the peach. I recently read Mas Masumoto’s Epitaph for a Peach, and was fortunate to find some of the author’s iconic Sun Crest peaches at my local market. So I could hardly resist making the fruit into this summer-y ice cream treat from my book, i scream SANDWICH!
This time of year there’s no end to inspiration at the farmers’ market for ice cream sandwiches. In addition to making ice cream or sorbet from strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, corn (yes, corn!), and more, you can find all sorts of fun things for sandwiching—cookies, brownies, croissants, brioche, even pancakes or waffles—as well as jams, caramel, and other condiments to spread on cookies or other sandwich holders, or to swirl into your ice cream, and nuts or granola for rolling the sides.
Writing the book gave me a chance to invent a whole slew of farm-inspired treats, including strawberry-balsamic frozen yogurt on black pepper cookies, rhubarb ice cream on brown sugar oat cakes, apricot ice cream on snickerdoodles, blackberry-buttermilk ice cream on crispy-chewy meringues, white corn and red raspberry ice cream on cornmeal cookies, and these Plum Good sandwiches, made by sandwiching plum frozen yogurt between lavender-walnut shortbread cookies.
But for the quintessence of summer, it’s hard to beat a peach…
If making the whole shebang from scratch is more than you bargained for (it’s not hard, really!), you can purchase either the cookies, or the ice cream, or both and sandwich them following the simple directions in the recipe.
On the other hand, if you want to fancy things up a bit, consider rolling the sides of the sandwiches in chopped toasted or candied pecans or walnuts, or in chopped crystallized ginger. Either way, you will have captured the essence of summer, with all the flavor of the fruit and no messy trickle of juice dribbling down your chin.
Invite some friends over, then head over to these blogs for recipes to make a whole farmers’ market inspired dinner:
Blistered Tomato, Corn, and Arugula Salad from OMG! Yummy
Summertime Vegetarian Stir Fry from Peanut Butter and Peppers
Eggplant Pesto Parmigiana Casserole from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Striped Heirloom Tomato Spice Cake from ZeBot’s Kitchen
For a gluten-free menu farmer’s market dinner party from more Bay-Area Food Blogger friends, check out these delicious dishes:
Mozzarella & Tomato Caprese Skewers by The Heritage Cook
Warm Green Bean and Tomato Salad by Creative Mama, Messy House
Loaded Mashed Cauliflower by Nosh My Way
Roast Pork Tenderlion with Mushroom Marsala Sauce and Roasted Potatoes by Crazy Foodie Stunts
Vanilla Bean Infused Cheesecake with Peaches in Dark Rum Sauce by Fearless Dining
Whichever menu you choose, end your farmers’ market meal on a sweet note with these Peachy Keen ice cream sandwiches.
- 1½ pounds (680 g) ripe peaches, about 5 medium peaches, pitted and cut into ½-inch chunks
- ⅔ cup (134 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1½ tablespoons mild-flavored honey, such as clover or orange blossom
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch or cornstarch
- ⅔ cup crème fraîche, labne, or plain Greek-style whole-milk yogurt, stirred smooth
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (100 g) white whole wheat or whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup packed (134 g) light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups (180 g) rolled oats
- ½ cup (80 g) raisins (optional)
- Stir together the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl. Set aside to get juicy.
- Whisk the cream, honey, and tapioca in a medium saucepan until no lumps remain. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until it begins to steam and slightly bubble at the edges. Adjust to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a cream sauce, about 1 minute longer; do not fully boil.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium metal bowl, then nest the bowl inside a larger bowl of ice and water until cool, taking care not to slosh water into the mixture.
- While the mixture cools, process the peaches with all of their juices in a blender or food processor until smooth.
- Strain through a standard or fine-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard the solids. Remove the cooled milk from the ice bath and stir in the peaches, crème fraîche, and vanilla until smooth.
- Cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 hours. Transfer the bowl to the freezer for the last half hour before spinning it.
- Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. When it is ready, transfer the ice cream to a chilled container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
- Put the butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and use a wooden spoon or a handheld electric mixer to mix until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix
- until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture just until everything is well combined, then stir in the oats and raisins, if using.
- Spoon or scoop the batter in tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them evenly, to make 24 cookies. Press the cookies with lightly dampened fingers to flatten them slightly—they will spread further as they bake.
- Bake until the cookies are light golden around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pans top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them directly to a wire rack to cool completely, sliding a spatula under them if they do not release easily.
- Pair the completely cooled cookies with like-size mates. Slightly soften the ice cream.
- Sandwich a scoop of ice cream between each set of cookie bottoms.
- Press gently to squeeze the ice cream slightly beyond the edges. If you wish, smooth the ice cream flush with the cookie edge.