The plan was to make ice cream with many of the 100+ peaches I picked in Iowa. But after bookmarking several recipes found online, I realized I had no heavy cream in my refrigerator -- a rare occurrence at my house and an essential ingredient in ice cream. I opted instead for a healthier version of what I had envisioned -- Peach Sherbet made with milk.
I also wanted a simple, little cookie to serve alongside the Peach Sherbet. There's nothing easier than making Lionel Poilåne's 4 ingredient Punitions, and with Dorie Greenspan's book, Paris Sweets, we are able to make this cookie at home. They can be purchased when in Paris at Poilåne's, 8 Rue du Cherche-Midi in the 6th Arrondissement. A basketful of sample Punitions is great strategy on Poilåne's part. After eating one of the French butter cookies, you most likely will purchase one bag for yourself and additional bags as gifts for friends back home (or maybe just more bags for yourself ;-)
• The sherbet is still delicious after several days in the freezer, but scoops up easiest the day it is made. • I used salted butter in the Punition cookies. You really won't notice much of a difference whether salted or unsalted is used. I do, however, recommend using European butter. The fat content is higher and any cookie benefits from that!
Peaches at the Velleron evening market | Provence
+ PEACH SHERBET
adapted recipe from Four-Star Desserts by Emily Luchetti
• 4 pounds very ripe peaches
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 2 cups water
• 1 1/2 cups milk (I used whole)
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
• Pinch of salt
1. Halve the peaches. Leave skins on but remove the pits.
2. Place the peaches in a large pot with the sugar and water. Cook the peaches over medium heat until they are soft when pierced. Purée the peaches in a blender or food processor, along with the liquid. This will need to be done in several batches. When finished, cool to room temperature. Stir in the milk, vanilla, almond extract, and salt. Place the mixture in the refrigerator until cold.
3. Freeze sherbet mixture in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions.
• This recipe makes 2 quarts. It was necessary for me to freeze 2 separate quarts since I have a small machine. The mixture will keep for several days in the refrigerator.
recipe from Paris Sweets by Dorie Greenspan
• 1 1/4 sticks (5 ounces; 140 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• Slightly rounded 1/2 cup (125 grams) sugar
• 1 large egg, at room temperature
• 2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1. Put the butter in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the butter is smooth. Add the sugar and process and scrape until thoroughly blended into the butter. Add the egg and continue to process, scraping the bowl as needed, until the mixture is smooth and satiny. Add the flour all at once, then pulse 10 to 15 times, until the dough forms clumps and curds and looks like streusel.
2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gather it into a ball. Divide the ball in half, shape each half into a disk, and wrap the disks in plastic. If you have the time, chill the disks until they are firm, about 4 hours. If you’re in a hurry, you can roll the dough out immediately; it will be a little stickier, but fine. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)
3. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. Working with one disk at a time, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is between 1/8 and 1/4 inch (4 and 7 mm) thick. Using a 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) round cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as you can and place them on the lined sheets, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) space between them. (You can gather the scraps into a disk and chill them, then roll, cut, and bake them later.)
5. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are set but pale. (If some of the cookies are thinner than the others, the thin ones may brown around the edges. M. Poilâne would approve. He’d tell you the spots of color here and there show they are made by hand.) Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.
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