A Peach Ice Cream Recipe With a Twist

In a hurry for homemade? Try this cool “same day” recipe using ricotta.

Peach ricotta ice cream is a sweet, "beat the heat", treat.

Peach ricotta ice cream is a sweet, "beat the heat", treat.

Peach ricotta ice cream is a sweet, beat the heat treat.

Peach ricotta ice cream is a sweet, beat the heat treat.

Peach ice cream is one of those desserts that screams summertime. In cone or dish, the sweet taste of peaches nestled in cool, creamy goodness would be perfect this evening, sitting on the deck at the end of what is shaping up to be another hot July day. Pity I didn’t plan ahead. The custard base must be prepared ahead of time, usually cooling overnight before the churning can begin. I could plan to serve it tomorrow, but that just seems so far away and these peaches may not stick around that long. Let’s cheat.

Ricotta is among the most basic of cheeses, not much more than curds of fat and protein extracted from whole milk. It can be used in all manner of ways, including lasagne, cheesecake and, perhaps most famously, in cannoli. The same slightly sweet, vaguely tangy and smooth qualities that makes ricotta so good in those Italian pastries also makes it an unexpectedly good base for making a terrific “same day” ice cream, ready in just a few hours. Lucky for me, I have plenty on hand.

No advance preparation is needed to produce this bright and lovely peach ricotta ice cream. A minute or two in the food processor is all it takes, and then into the ice cream maker it goes. Easy peasy.

This is a recipe that best serves the impatient. The resulting ice cream is terrific, but ricotta freezes much harder than conventional ice cream, so it is best served the same day it is made (after a few hours in the freezer to firm up). Stored longer, you may need to wait for it to thaw a bit before serving, and I think we’ve established that when it comes to ice cream, waiting may not be my strong suit.

Peach Ricotta Ice Cream

  • 3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cups chopped peaches

Combine ricotta, cream, sugar, vanilla, salt and lemon juice in food processor and process until smooth.

Transfer into ice cream maker and proceed per manufacturer instructions.

Once ice cream thickens, add peaches shortly before finish.

Transfer ice cream into an airtight container and place in freezer three to four hours before serving.

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