NECTARINE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES WITH GINGER COOKIES

For a party a couple of years ago I made fresh peach ice cream and sandwiched it between ginger snap cookies.  Now that summer is really, kind of, more or less here it seemed like time to make them again.  But the peaches available here right now are hard little green things.  The nectarines, on the other hand, are full, ripe and juicy.  Of course neither peaches nor nectarines are usually local to us here in South Dakota, though we keep on trying to grow them.  We actually had a peach tree that produced a small and tasty fruit that filled me with visions of peach pies and jam and canned lusciousness, but in the aftermath of a huge storm the tree got pushed over during the cleanup. We planted another tree last fall, though, eternal optimists that we are.

– Joan, 18 June 2015

On to the recipes:

ICE CREAM:

2 cups finely chopped fresh peaches or nectarines, with or without skins   (I blanched them and took off the skins)
1¼ cups sugar, divided
juice of ½ lemon, about 1-2 tablespoons
2 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine the fruit with ½ cup of the sugar and the lemon juice.  Refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring 3-4 times.
  2. Beat the eggs till light, then add the cream and milk and stir together (an immersion blender works well for this).  Put the fruit/sugar mixture into a strainer over the eggs/cream/milk mixture and put it back into the fridge till most of the juice has drained off the fruit.  Refrigerate the strained fruit.
  3. Pour the juice/cream mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.  My Cuisinart gets the job done in 25 minutes.
  4. Stir in the reserved fruit and spread the ice cream out in a 9 inch by 13 inch pan.  Taste it (as if you needed this in the instructions).  Freeze whatever’s left after you’ve tasted it. Sometimes not much.
  5. Once the ice cream has frozen and you’re ready to put together the sandwiches, warm the bottom of the pan and tip the whole pan upside down onto a cutting board.  Cut into squares or use a biscuit or cookie cutter for shapes.  Or just scoop out the desired amount of ice cream and squish it between two cookies. I happen to like the informal squishy look.

Now for the ginger cookies:

INGREDIENTS

¾  cup soft butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
¼ cup molasses
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix butter, sugar, egg and molasses thoroughly.
  2. Blend all dry ingredients and stir into butter mixture.
  3. Use a cookie scoop to divide the dough.  Flatten each dough ball slightly between your palms. Chill for a couple of hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Toss the cookies in sugar to coat and place on parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Give them room to spread, about 3 inches apart. Sprinkle tops with a few drops of water.  Bake 10-12 minutes. Be careful not to bake them too long – you want chewy, not hard.
  5. Cool completely before making the sandwiches.

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