Recipe: Gravenstein Apple Balsamic Vinegar Poached Peaches with Herbs de Provence Ice Cream

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I love dessert recipes that can be made ahead of time and require few ingredients. With the abundance of fresh peaches we knew a dessert to highlight them was in order. Poaching fruit is quite simple and brings out their natural sugars. And by using our balsamic vinegars no added sugar is necessary. The poached peaches are best served at room temperature, but they can also be stored in the refrigerator to be enjoyed later in the day.

We are pairing the sweet poached peaches with a savory homemade olive oil ice cream to balance the flavors and provide an unexpected twist. Olive oil and ice cream? You bet! This recipe results in a delicious creamy ice cream which is simple to make with an ice cream maker or without. You can use any favorite oil; the fruit fused olive oils such as Blood Orange or Persian Lime work especially well. We particularly love the twist of a savory oil with the creamy sweet ice cream.

We used Gravenstein Apple Vinegar because it pairs so nicely with Herbs de Provence olive oil, but any favorite balsamic vinegar would work well. The resulting poaching liquid becomes a delicious syrup that could be used on pancakes, over soft cheeses or even ham. Lots of possibilities.

The ice cream recipe comes from The Olive Oil & Vinegar Lover’s Cookbook by Emily Lycopolus. This lovely cookbook, sold at our store, contains lots of great recipes organized by type of olive oil and vinegar.


For the Ice Cream:

For the Peaches:


In saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the half-and-half and sea salt to before boiling. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until it’s pale yellow and fluffy.

Remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisking constantly, add 1/2 cup of the hot half-and-half mixture to the egg yolk mixture. This is called tempering the egg (yolks) and helps prevent the egg mixture from curdling due to the hot liquid.

Add the egg mixture to the saucepan, still whisking constantly. Place the saucepan back on medium heat and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and place the pan in an ice bath to cool the mixture to room temperature.

Whisk in the olive oil and vanilla. Pour the custard into the ice cream maker until it starts to firm up to desired consistence. Then place it the freezer for a few hours to freeze up.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker pour into a loaf pan and refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours. Then place in freezer until overnight.

While the ice cream is freezing prepare the peaches. To peel the peaches first submerge them in a pot of boiling water for 1 – 2 minutes. Then plunge them into an ice bath. This should make the skins easier to peel off. If it is still difficult to peel by hand, use a vegetable peeler.

Pour the balsamic vinegar and water into saucepan and heat till simmering. Place the skinned peaches in the pan and bring the liquid back to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes until the peaches are tender. Turn them from time to time in the syrup. Remove the poached peaches from the pan and set aside. Turn the heat up on the liquid to reduce it to about 2/3, into a syrup consistency. Pour over the peaches. Serve at room temperature with a dollop of olive oil ice cream.


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