Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Avocado Ice Cream

Hello everybody!

Recently, I bought an ice cream maker.  This culinary discovery is best described as probably having the same significance as when the caveman first discovered fire.  Yep, probably on the same scale.  Commercially speaking, ice cream is one of those "pseudo" commodities that can still command a high price in the marketplace.  After all, there is nothing special about ice cream. It is made out of cream, milk, sugar and various flavorings and toppings, yet it holds a high perceived value in the minds of the consumer. I suppose this is because ice cream is rarely made at home (not as common as baking, anyway) and has the perception of being difficult and laborious to churn.  This combination often drives us to casually hand over as much as $3-4 dollars per cone for a single scoop at the store, for MEDIOCRE ice cream.

But, ICE CREAM is sooooo simple to make!  In fact, probably 100 times simpler than baking.  Know how to use a whisk?  That basically qualifies you to make ice cream.

So today, I am going to share this avocado ice cream recipe with you.  Avocado ice cream has a special place in my heart.  Growing up, my parents took us traveling because they believed that through experiencing new things and different cultures that we would develop an open mind. On a shoe string budget trip to New Zealand one year, our family's budget was maxed out.  Even a couple of dollars for cheap souvenirs was out of the question and promptly dismissed as a "waste of money".  Despite this fact, when we eventually stumbled on an avocado farm (New Zealand is one of the world's largest producers of avocados!), my dad forked over his hard earned money and treated us to avocado ice cream!  None of us had ever had this before. The combination of creaminess from the fruit and its thick, rich texture merged with the fresh farm cream, and the complex flavors of this ice cream have been imprinted in my mind ever since.

Ever since that vacation, I have not really had avocado ice cream.  To recreate the magical experience of my childhood, it was one of the first batches of ice cream I made in my new ice cream maker.  And, sure enough, you can't trick biological imprinting- the memories came rushing back.

Here's the recipe:

12 ounce avocado meat, approximately 3 small to medium
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream

1. Peel and pit the avocados.  Cut around the large pit, and then remove the skin.  If the avocados are ripened, the skin should come off easily.
2. Add the avocados, lemon juice, milk and sugar to a blender.
3. Blend until the mixture is completely homogenous.   
4. Transfer the the mixture to a medium mixing bowl.
5.  Add heavy cream.
6. Use a whisk to combine the mixture with the heavy cream.   Place this mixture in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours until it is as cold as you can get it.
7. Transfer this mixture to the ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.  I do find that the mixture sets quicker than normal ice cream (perhaps due to the fat content of the fruit). Churn for about 10 minutes and no more.  The ice cream should be soft.  You can serve the ice cream now, or scoop it out and store in a a freezer safe container for about 2 hours.  The ice cream will be firmer and the flavors will "mature" a little.
8. The ice cream is now ready to be served.

Recipe adapted from: Alton Brown-Food Network
Ice cream Maker
A silicon spoon to work with the ice cream (and protect the churning bowl)
A sturdier tool than whisk, The Better Batter Tool 

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