No, they’re not in season yet in New York. (The horror!) But these California apricots were 5 for a dollar at Mr. Lime this late May, and they looked pretty tasty, so I went for it, no regrets. Also, this week in Brooklyn has been super warm (What.) and I was ready to try out the new ice cream maker. Also ready for the ice cream photo challenge—the super special adrenaline rush of getting a decent photo before the ice cream is too melty to look convincingly like something you’d want to eat. [I took a bunch of photos of empty glasses before photo’ing the real thing. The superintendent of our building was outside gardening during all of this and giving me strange looks I think. But I got a good photo, right?]
[An extra side note, and something the waste-not-want-not part of me is kicking myself for not having remembered to consider this time: apricot pits (the inside part anyway) are edible (not completely full of cyanide) and delicious (and apparently many people believe that they cure cancer and that the government has been suppressing this information, or so a quick internet search tells me). David Lebovitz has some thoughts about the apricot pit issue. (He also has a fantastic ice cream cookbook, which I would highly recommend if you are at all interested in making ice creams, and of which I believe the Date Rum Pecan Ice Cream recipe alone is worth the cost.) Start saving apricot pits if you’re interested in a recipe, because you’ll need about 50 of them. The New York Times has some ideas to get you started.]
This weekend Andrew and I went down to Coney Island and then walked around the Brighton Beach shops. I felt deep shame at how rusty my Russian has become (ok, I was doing fine ordering the cheese until the person taking my order wanted to engage me in conversation about the fat content of the cheese I was ordering. No I did not want low-fat cheese, my goodness—absolutely not!) but I did succeed in finding more cheap apricots, so my next project will be apricot cordial (and maybe raspberry cordial too for true Anne-of-Green-Gables-ness [and I do realize that I’ve got a runaway parenthetical train on my hands in this post]); I think this recipe looks like a good starting point. And for future projects: tarts, crumbles, preserves, cakes. . . . So many recipe options out there—I’ll be ready to make them all in July when apricots are in season in New York (or the next time I find them at Mr. Lime).
Fresh Apricot Ice Cream
- 1 1/2 lbs fresh apricots, peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks (reserve whites for another use)
- a few drops lemon juice (depending on tartness of the apricots)
- 2 tsp brandy
- pinch salt
- Combine apricots and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until very soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Puree in a blender or using an immersion blender; set aside to cool.
- In another saucepan, combine cream and sugar and heat until tiny bubbles form around the sides of the pan, then reduce heat to medium low. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with a fork, then gradually start whisking in a bit of the hot cream mixture, spoonful by spoonful. Pour the egg yolks into the saucepan with the cream, and heat, stirring constantly, until the cream begins to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Strain the cream mixture into the saucepan or the jar of the blender, add brandy and pinch of salt, and stir or lightly blend to mix with the pureed apricots. Taste and add a few drops of lemon juice if necessary. Depending on the sweetness of the apricots, you may want to add another tablespoon or two of sugar as well.
- Chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight, then freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.