Apricot Ice Cream with Caramelised Almonds

Mmmm, time to stop typing and start eating!

Mmmm, time to stop typing and start eating!

Well, tonight we road test the recipe for Gabriel Gaté’s Apricot Ice Cream with Almonds.  Now, besides my difficulties yesterday with the ice-cream machine, I also experienced some disappointment trying to track down some fresh apricots with which to make this delish dish.  Being the middle of winter here in Melbourne, fresh apricots are pretty thin on the ground, actually you could say non-existent…

So I had a choice, either I drop the recipe from the challenge or I could used canned, preserved apricots.  Not one to back down from a challenge, I have elected to go with the canned option.  Now, I suspect that the canned option is going to impact the taste, so I am not going to judge this dish too harshly.  I make quite a bit of ice cream at home (nothing beats home made ice cream!) and in all honesty, this has to be one of the quicker and easier recipes I have tried.  It does not require you to make a fresh custard base, it is fresh and fruity, uses less sugar than some other recipes and it’s egg free which makes it a great option for those with allergies.

I’m keen to repeat this recipe when the weather warms up and I can get my hands on some fresh apricots.  I’ll also be trying out the recipe with other fruits as well.  I think it would be great with fresh raspberries!

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (about 2 lb) apricots
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 125 ml (½ cup) orange juice
  • ½ vanilla pod, cut open
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup whipped cream
  • ½ cup extra caster sugar
  • 3 drops red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup almonds
  • ½ cup extra whipped cream

How to do it

First of all tend to your ice cream machine!  If you need to freeze the bowl, put it in your freezer for the time specified by the manufacturer so you are all set to go when you actually want to whip up the mix.

Ready to go...

Ready to go…

Then you need to cut your apricots in half and remove the stone from each.  Place your halved apricots in a pot and add the orange juice, 1/2 a cup of caster sugar and the split vanilla pod.  Bring this to the boil over a medium heat and simmer until the fruit softens.

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Blending the fruit

Blending the fruit

Take the pot off the heat and let it cool slightly.  Then remove the vanilla bean and blend the fruit to a fine puree using a stick blender.  Now, Gabriel recommends that you pass this mixture through a sieve.  While this will give a finer and smoother textured ice cream, I elected to omit this step in favour of a slightly frutier ice cream with more pulp running through it.  It’s completely up to you which way you want to go.  Either way, once your apricot mixture is ready, chill it in the fridge while you get on with the almonds.

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Bubble, bubble

Bubble, bubble

For the almond brittle, you need to place the water, vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.   Continue to boil this syrup until it turns a light golden colour – be careful with this.  It will seem like it is taking ages, but then it will turn quite quickly so you need to watch it closely!

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Caramelised almonds...desperately seeking ice cream.

Caramelised almonds…

When the syrup is turning golden stir in your roasted almonds and keep stirring for another minute or two to coat.  Pour them out on to a tray lined with baking paper and spread them out quickly before they start to set. Leave to harden while you get on with the ice cream.

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Cream, meet Apricot...

Cream, meet Apricot…

Now that your apricot mixture is cold, whip your cream and gently fold it into the apricots, along with the lemon juice.   Place this mixture into your ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturers instructions.

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Churning goodness...

Churning goodness…

Right at the end you can throw on some of the chopped almond brittle if you wish, otherwise you can save it and serve it alongside at the end (or do both, like me!).  When the mix has finished churning, transfer it quickly to a container and put it in the freezer for min 2 hours to harden (preferably overnight).

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Mmmm, time to stop typing and start eating!

Mmmm, time to stop typing and start eating!

To serve, scoop the ice cream into dishes and garnish with some extra whipped cream (I forgot this!) and shards of almond brittle.

Enjoy!

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