Skillet Cornbread with Grilled Peaches, Buttermilk Ice Cream, and Smoked Honey Caramel

Recipe courtesy of Jackson Rouse

For those not inclined to make your own ice cream, Rouse recommends purchasing a pint of good quality vanilla bean ice cream, adding half a cup of buttermilk, and whisking with a wire whisk. Refreeze for one day. This recipe is part of a full menu created by Jackson Rouse for the July 2012 issue.

Buttermilk Ice Cream

6 large egg yolks

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2/3 cup brown sugar

Pinch of salt

1 cup chilled buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chill a medium-size metal bowl in freezer until cold, about 1 hour. Whisk yolks in another medium metal bowl, set aside. Combine cream, sugar, and salt in large saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Gradually whisk half of hot cream into egg yolks to temper; return mixture to saucepan. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until custard thickens and coats back of spoon, 2 to 3 minutes (do not boil). Remove from heat. Pour cold buttermilk into reserved chilled bowl. Strain custard into buttermilk; whisk. Whisk in vanilla. Chill mixture uncovered until cold, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours. Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer ice cream to freezer container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Smoked Honey Caramel

3 cups raw local honey

Prepare smoker at 220 degrees. Smoke honey for 4 hours until thickened.

Skillet Cornbread

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal (preferably stone-ground)

1 Tablespoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 3/4 cups well-shaken buttermilk (do not use powdered)

1/2 stick unsalted butter

Equipment: a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet

Preheat oven to 425 degrees with rack in middle. Heat skillet in oven 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together dry ingredients in small bowl. Whisk together eggs and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Remove hot skillet from oven (handle will be very hot) and add butter, swirling skillet to coat bottom and side (butter may brown). Whisk hot butter into buttermilk mixture and return skillet to oven. Stir cornmeal mixture into buttermilk mixture just until evenly moistened but still lumpy. Scrape batter into hot skillet and bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Grilled Peaches

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed

6 medium-size ripe but firm peaches, halved and pitted

Prepare grill to medium heat. Melt butter with brown sugar in small skillet over medium heat. Remove skillet from heat. Brush peach halves all over with melted butter mixture. Grill until tender, about 8 minutes, turning occasionally.

To assemble: Cool the corn bread in the cast iron skillet. Top with warm grilled peaches, then buttermilk ice cream. Drizzle with smoked honey caramel. Have spoons ready to serve family style!

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