Peach Italian Ice

Peach Italian Ice

Angelo Brocato’s Italian Ice Cream Parlor is an unassuming place, sandwiched between an Asian restaurant unsure about its own ethnicity, and a sports bar with saloon doors for an entrance.  On one corner of the street sits a warehouse, with stacks of rolled carpet piled high in all directions;  on the other corner rests Junque Antiques, the building itself looking several birthdays older than its wares.

Peach Ice Collage

Parking for Angelo Brocato’s is limited to an empty gravel-filled lot, or whatever spaces are available at 45-degree angles on the wide sidewalk on the river side of North Carrolton Avenue.  The parlor itself occupies a one-story storefront in the mid-city neighborhood of New Orleans, a safe distance from the reverie of the French Quarter.  Inside, the store displays the black-and-white portrait of its founder, and the wire-rimmed chairs, apothecary jars, and glass-topped tables proudly evoke the spirit of a hundred-year old business.

With a climate befitting the tropics, the parlor  does a brisk business year-round.  Almost nightly, a line of seersucker shorts and cotton skirts stretches past the glass counters, around the chairs guarding the entrance, and out into the thick, night air.  When the door opens, the next family rushes past the departing one, and lets the heavy, spring-loaded door close behind them, trying their best to get inside before the cool air can escape into the heat of night.

In New Orleans, any night is a good night for Brocato’s.  But on a really good night, you’ll stare down into the glass-counter, and below the amaretto and stracciatella gelato, beside the watermelon and lemon ice, you’ll find a dark-orange container,  with the words “Peach Ice,” typed on a small, piece of black paper.

In honor of Angelo Brocato’s, I tried my hand at making Peach Ice. In my case, I paired a white-peach ice with a mint-flavored yellow-peach ice, for the perfect two-peach treat.  By using only the peach juice, it’s a true Italian Ice.  If you use the meat of the peaches, you enter sorbet territory, though that’s hardly the wrong side of the tracks.

Peach Italian Ice

PREP TIME: Requires overnight freezing
COOK TIME: 20 minutes
YIELD: 4 cups of each ice

WHAT TO GRAB:
4 ripe white peaches, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup ice
1 teaspoon lemon zest

4 ripe yellow peaches, pitted and sliced
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup ice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 piece of fresh ginger

Peach Halves

HOW YOU DO IT:

WHITE PEACH ITALIAN ICE

1. Combine the peaches and water in a large sauté pot, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Place a thin-wire mesh colander inside a large bowl.  Strain the peach liquid into the large bowl.  Gently press the cooked peaches to get any remaining peach juice.

3.  Empty the juice into a blender.  Discard the remaining meat of the peach.  Add the ice, sugar, and lemon zest, and process until smooth.  Pour the mixture into plastic cups, and freeze overnight.

4. The following day, dump the frozen peach cups into the blender again, and mix well. This step really softens the ice and prevents any sort of layering. Pour the softened peach ice slushy into a large yogurt container (for instance) and place back in the freezer. After a few hours, it’s ready when you are!

GINGER-INFUSED YELLOW PEACH ITALIAN ICE

1.  Peel and cut the ginger into four, one-inch pieces.  Combine the peaches, water, and ginger in a large pot, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Discard the ginger pieces.

2. Place a thin-wire mesh colander inside a large bowl.  Strain the peach liquid into the large bowl.  Gently press the cooked peaches to get any remaining peach juice.

3.  Empty the juice into a blender.  Discard the remaining meat of the peach.  Add the ice, sugar, and lemon juice, and process until smooth.  Pour the mixture into plastic cups, and freeze overnight.

4. The following day, dump the frozen peach cups into the blender again, and mix well.  Pour the softened peach ice slushy into a large yogurt container (for instance) and place back in the freezer. After a few hours, it’s ready when you are!

5.  After a few hours, serve the two peach ices together for the perfect summer treat!

Peach Italian Ice

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3 responses to “Peach Italian Ice

  1. True to your name, you’re on a peach-streak! I like that you highlight seasonal produce in your cooking, and that you incorporate multiple varieties of the same fruit in your recipes.

    Of the two, the white peach ice is my personal favorite, and I think its delicate flavor pairs well with the bolder, mint-infused yellow peaches. What surprised me most about the peach ice was its texture — it has the velvety mouth-feel of sorbet but is less dense. A perfect summer treat!

  2. Pingback: An unexpected peach encounter | Living A la Mode

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