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Robert St. John

Restaurateur, author, enthusiastic traveler, & world-class eater.

Peach Shortcake & Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Ingredients

2 cups All-purpose flour

2 Tbsp Sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

1 Tbsp Baking powder

1/8 tsp Salt

3/4 cup Unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cold, diced

3 Large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup Heavy cream, chilled

1/4 cup Sour cream

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1 Egg beaten, with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash

1/4 cup Sugar

4-5 Ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

1 Tbsp Fresh lemon juice

1 pint Blueberries

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

5 cups Heavy cream

2 1/2 cups Whole milk

Pinch salt

1 1/2 cups Sugar

1 vanilla bean

12 Large egg yolks

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Sift the flour, 2 tablespoon sugar, the baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Blend in the butter at the lowest speed and mix until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs, heavy cream, sour cream and vanilla extract and quickly add to the flour and butter
mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will be sticky.

Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Flour your hands and pat the dough out 3/4-inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough.

Cut biscuits with a 2 3/4-inch cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Brush the tops with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the outsides are crisp and the insides are fully baked. Let cool on a wire rack.

While the biscuits are baking, combine the 1/4 cup of sugar with the sliced peaches and lemon juice. Refrigerate until needed.

Split each shortcake in half crosswise and place the bottom half on a plate. Place a small amount of the peach mixture atop each biscuit bottom. Place one scoop of ice cream on the peaches and spoon the remaining peaches over the ice cream. Place the biscuit top over the filled bottom half and sprinkle each shortcake with 2-3 tablespoons of fresh blueberries, serve immediately.

Yield:

6-8 servings

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream 

To make the vanilla ice cream: Combine the cream, milk, salt, and 3/4 cup of the sugar in a large pot. Split the vanilla bean down the middle lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a paring knife; add them to the pot and toss in the pods for added flavor. Place the cream mixture over medium heat, and bring up to a simmer; stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. Cook for about 15 minutes, being careful that the mixture does not boil, simmer or scald. Shut off the heat, cover the pot, and allow the cream mixture to steep for 15 minutes to further infuse the vanilla flavor.

In the meantime, combine the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and blend them lightly with a wire whisk. Gradually add the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar and continue to whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved and the eggs are thick and pale yellow; about 6 minutes.

Using a large ladle or measuring cup, temper the eggs by gradually whisking in about 2 cups of the hot cream mixture. Return this back to the rest of the cream in the saucepan and turn the heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until the custard thickens and leaves a path on the back of a spoon when you run your finger across it, about 10 to 12 minutes (do not let boil.)

Pour the vanilla custard through a fine strainer into a mixing bowl and place it over an ice bath and chill completely. Stir the mixture while it is cooling. For best flavor results, store the ice cream base covered over night in the refrigerator. Following the manufacturer’s instructions of your ice cream maker, freeze the ice cream. Transfer to airtight containers and freeze until needed.

Yield: 1/2 gallon

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