Peaches and Cream and Baked Aleutians Cupcakes
If you hold Macon, Georgia, near to your heart then you recognize the acronym HMFPIC from the classified ad placed in the Macon Telegraph & News each June 1st. The ad didn't announce a clandestine meeting, but an ice cream event - Homemade Fresh Peach Ice Cream at Len Berg’s restaurant on Post Office Alley next to the Federal Courthouse.
Macon is close to Fort Valley in nearby Peach County, home of the Blue Bird Bus Company and the sweet Georgia peaches at Lane Southern Orchards. When the first peaches were picked and brought to Len Berg’s, they were churned into a creamy vanilla custard ice cream. To get the word out, each June 1, Maconites could look in the back pages of the Telegraph, not in a display ad, but the classifieds, for the cryptic message: “HMFPIC - You Know Where.”
Len Berg's was an original - in business from 1908 until it closed just a few years ago. The building was small, with unusually low ceilings, but the location, especially to feed the lunch crowd, was ideal - in the downtown business district close to both the Federal and the County courthouses. The menu was classic meat-and-two-or-three, with excellent Southern vegetables. I managed to get to Len Berg’s a few years before it closed. I had some tasty fried chicken and a pimento cheese sandwich - this is kind of a Macon thing, like chicken and waffles everywhere else. And we concluded with HMFPIC.
I have a tried and true custard recipe for vanilla ice cream, but this recipe, adapted from "Beans, Greens and Sweet Georgia Peaches" by Savannah food writer Damon Lee Fowler, is divine in its simplicity. This is truly peaches and cream, frozen with sugar a smidge of salt and vanilla, simply delicious and easy.
2. Scoop of ice cream. I used Fresh Peach Ice Cream for a dreamy taste of Georgia summer.
3. A generous swirl of meringue. This is a glorious thing to have in one’s repertoire. Shirley Corriher’s Italian meringue from "Bakewise" is tried and true and will launch this dessert into the stratosphere.