Peach Ice Cream with Caramel-Bourbon Swirl


Tart, buttery, and sweet, the caramel-bourbon swirl here comes through in the best of ways, balancing the rich notes of the crème fraîche in this silky, swirled ice cream. Fresh, ripe peaches add a great bit of texture in every bite. American-style ice creams are eggless (unlike French-style ice creams, which contain eggs yolks) and usually made with a combination of milk and cream, sometimes containing cornstarch as a thickener. For this recipe, chef and ice cream maker Fany Gerson's version uses cream (no milk) and crème fraîche or sour cream to balance out the flavors and add creaminess to the fluffy texture.

Peach Ice Cream with Caramel-Bourbon Swirl
Photo: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Victoria Granof / Prop Styling by Christine Keely
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs



  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup water

  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

  • ¾ cup heavy cream

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cubed

  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) bourbon

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Ice Cream

  • 1 to 2 large (5-ounce) lemons

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream

  • 2 pounds firm-ripe peaches (about 5 large peaches), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 4 cups)

  • 1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar

  • ¾ cups crème fraîche or sour cream

  • teaspoon kosher salt


Make the caramel:

  1. Combine sugar, 1/4 cup water, and corn syrup in a small saucepan, making sure to wipe down the sides of the pan so no crystals form. Bring mixture to a low boil over medium. Boil, undisturbed, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Continue cooking, gently swirling mixture occasionally in a circular motion (do not stir), until mixture turns a deep amber color, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Carefully whisk in cream. (Caramel will seize but then sugar crystals will dissolve.) Add butter; whisk until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in bourbon and salt; whisk again. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Cooled caramel can be stored in a resealable container in refrigerator up to 2 days; let come to room temperature before using, about 30 minutes.

Make the ice cream:

  1. Remove peel from 1 lemon; set peel aside. Juice peeled lemon to yield 1/4 cup juice in a small bowl; if needed, juice remaining lemon to reach 1/4 cup juice total. Discard seeds. Cover juice, and place in refrigerator until ready to use. Stir together cream and reserved lemon peel in a resealable container. Let steep in refrigerator until flavors meld, at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours.

  2. Stir together peaches and sugar in a small saucepan. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until juices release, 10 to 15 minutes. Cook over medium, stirring often, until sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to boil, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

  3. Pour lemon peel–cream mixture through a strainer into a medium bowl; discard peel. Transfer infused lemon cream to a blender; add cooled peach mixture, crème fraîche, reserved lemon juice, and salt. Pulse mixture until almost smooth but slightly chunky, about 10 pulses. Transfer mixture to a large resealable container; chill in refrigerator until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours.

  4. Working in batches if needed, pour chilled peach mixture into frozen freezer bowl of an ice cream maker; proceed according to manufacturer's instructions. When mixture reaches soft-serve consistency and with ice cream maker running, gradually add 1 cup caramel to ice cream to create a swirl. Serve immediately for a soft-serve consistency, or transfer to a shallow airtight container, and freeze until firm, about 3 hours. Store ice cream in an airtight container in freezer up to 3 weeks.

Make Ahead

Caramel can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator. Let come to room temperature before using.

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