Total Time
Prep: 20 min. + chilling Process: 20min./batch + freezing
Enjoy the sweet, fresh flavors of peaches in this contest-winning peach ice cream. Ideal for hot summer days, it’s a refreshing treat the whole family will love.

Updated: May 29, 2024

A standout ingredient is key to every great ice cream, and for this peach ice cream, it’s ripe, juicy peaches that steal the show. It’s so great, in fact, that it’s been deemed one of our best-loved grand-prize winning recipes.

Highlighting the natural sweetness of fresh peaches, this contest-winning recipe is thick, creamy and just the right antidote to beat the summertime heat. Ready to put in the ice cream maker in just 20 minutes, it’s an easy dessert to prepare—and even easier to eat.

Frozen Custard vs. Ice Cream

Since this peach ice cream recipe includes eggs, it can technically be considered a frozen custard. A quintessential Midwest specialty, frozen custard has a rich, creamier texture compared with traditional ice cream. The secret? Eggs.

The addition of eggs—some recipes call for egg yolks instead—results in a smoother, more velvety consistency, making frozen custard particularly indulgent. And much like ice cream, frozen custard comes in many different flavors, like lemon custard.

Ingredients for Peach Ice Cream

  • Half-and-half: The use of half-and-half in this peach ice cream recipe is twofold. First, it results in an indulgent dessert, and second, replacing some heavy cream with half-and-half gets rid of the greasy coating that can sometimes occur on your tongue with high-fat foods.
  • Sugar: The addition of sweeteners like white sugar help to prevent the formation of ice crystals in homemade ice cream, so don’t reduce the amount in your recipe!
  • Eggs: Six whole eggs are needed for this peach ice cream’s custard base. They’re the secret to a creamy homemade ice cream.
  • Heavy whipping cream: The higher fat content of heavy whipping cream ensures that the ice cream batter whips better and holds its shape.
  • Vanilla extract: Adding 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract will not only enhance the flavor of the fresh peaches, but it also adds a layer of depth to this peach ice cream. High-quality vanilla extract will provide the best flavor—here’s the best vanilla extract brands for your pantry.
  • Peaches: Fresh peaches are the star of the show here, but if you’re out of fresh, you can use frozen peaches in a pinch.


Step 1: Heat the cream mixture

In a large saucepan, heat the half-and-half and sugar until dissolved.

Step 2: Temper the eggs

Whisk a small amount of the hot cream mixture into the beaten eggs. Slowly whisk in the egg mixture to the saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until the mixture reaches at least 160°F and coats the back of a metal spoon.

Step 3: Cool the mixture

Remove the saucepan from the heat. Cool the mixture quickly by placing the pan in a bowl of ice water, stirring for two minutes.

Step 4: Refrigerate the custard base

Stir in the heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate the custard for several hours, or overnight.

Step 5: Prepare the peaches

Place the peeled and sliced peaches in a blender. Cover and process until pureed. Stir the pureed peaches into the chilled custard mixture.

Step 6: Freeze the ice cream

Fill the cylinder of your ice cream maker until it’s two-thirds full. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Allow the ice cream to ripen in the ice cream freezer or firm up in the refrigerator freezer for a few hours before serving.

Peach Ice Cream Variations

  • Add berries and other stone fruits: For a fun summer twist, incorporate fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries or plums, along with the peaches.
  • Swirl in caramel: Drizzle in caramel sauce during the last few minutes of churning for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Top with whipped cream: For an extra creamy touch, serve your peach ice cream with a dollop of whipped cream.

How to Store Peach Ice Cream

Store your peach ice cream in an airtight, freezer-safe container—it’s one way to prevent freezer burn and will preserve the ice cream’s texture and quality for approximately two weeks. Before sealing the container, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming.

Since it’s made using fresh peaches, this ice cream will tend to freeze harder. Let it sit out at room temperature to soften for several minutes before scooping.

Peach Ice Cream Tips

What are the best peaches for peach ice cream?

For the best peach ice cream, choosing the right type of peach is important. Freestone peaches are ideal because their pits are easy to remove. White peaches and Belle of Georgia are popular choices due to their juicy texture and sweet flavor, which blend seamlessly into this peach ice cream recipe.

When fresh peaches are out of season, frozen peaches are a great alternative. They retain much of their flavor and texture and are often peeled and pitted, saving you prep time. You’ll just want to thaw and drain them before use to prevent excess liquid in the ice cream batter.

Can you use canned peaches in this peach ice cream recipe?

Unfortunately, canned peaches are not a good substitute for fresh or frozen peaches in this peach ice cream, for a couple of reasons. Canned peaches tend to be pre-cooked, resulting in a softer and more tender texture. They are also generally stored in sugar syrup—so adding them to the recipe would result in an ice cream that’s too sweet.

What’s the easiest way to peel peaches in bulk?

This peach ice cream recipe calls for fresh peaches to be peeled before being added to the custard mix. While this does add to the ice cream’s prep time, it’s easy to peel them in bulk once you know the trick to peeling peaches—the key is to use ripe peaches.

How do you avoid making scrambled eggs when heating the custard mix?

Scrambling eggs into your ice cream is a big no-no, and easily preventable. All you have to do is temper the eggs by slowly adding a little bit of the hot custard mixture to the whisked eggs. This brings the cold eggs to the same temperature as the hot custard. Once the eggs are tempered, slowly whisk this mixture back into the saucepan to get the creamiest custard base for your peach ice cream.

How can you enhance peach ice cream?

For a richer depth of flavor, consider adding a splash of peach liqueur or a teaspoon of almond extract to the mixture. You can also grill the peaches before adding them into the ice cream batter—this will bring out a deeper, caramelized flavor in your finished peach ice cream.

What should you serve with peach ice cream?

Peach ice cream pairs wonderfully with the rest of the summer bounty, including blackberries, citrus and plums. You can also serve it with a freshly baked slice of peach cobbler or top it with crumbled ginger cookies. This peach ice cream also makes a great topping for warm waffles or pancakes at brunch.

Can you use half-and-half instead of heavy whipping cream to make peach ice cream?

While you can substitute half-and-half for heavy whipping cream, the resulting ice cream will be markedly less rich and creamy in texture. Due to the lower milk fat content of half-and-half, the ice cream may also have a harder, icier texture when frozen. However, if you do use half-and-half, it’ll be a one-to-one substitution ratio.

How do you make peach ice cream without an ice cream maker?

To make peach ice cream without an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a shallow dish and place it in the freezer. Stir the mixture every 30 minutes until it reaches the desired consistency, usually three to four hours. For more tips and tricks, read our guide to making homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker.

Contest-Winning Peach Ice Cream

Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 20min
Yield about 3 quarts.


  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 3-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 to 8 medium peaches, peeled and sliced or 4 cups frozen unsweetened peach slices


  1. In a large saucepan, heat half-and-half to 175°; stir in the sugar and salt until dissolved. Whisk a small amount of hot cream mixture into the eggs. Return all to the pan, whisking constantly. Cook and stir over low heat until the mixture reaches at least 160° and coats the back of a metal spoon.
  2. Remove from the heat. Cool quickly by placing pan in a bowl of ice water; stir for 2 minutes. Stir in whipping cream and vanilla. Press plastic wrap onto surface of custard. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  3. Place peaches in a blender, cover and process until pureed. Stir into the custard. Fill cylinder of ice cream maker two-thirds full; freeze according to manufacturer's directions. Refrigerate any remaining mixture until ready to freeze.
  4. Transfer ice cream to freezer containers, allowing headspace for expansion. Freeze until firm, 2-4 hours.

Nutrition Facts

1/2 cup: 306 calories, 18g fat (11g saturated fat), 117mg cholesterol, 115mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (32g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.

When peaches are in season, this recipe is at the top of my list to make. The pureed fruit lends a fresh flavor to the silky-smooth ice cream. You'll have to make it more than once, though, because the first batch never lasts long! -Toni Box Weaver, Alabama