Thursday, January 15, 2009

January 11, 2009: Passionfruit icecream

Over our few weeks' holiday and first week of work, I was champing at the bit to get stuck into my new cookbooks. Sushi was a huge success on Friday night; on Saturday I energetically cleared space in the freezer for my icecream maker in time for sweet, sweet Sunday afternoon. Though I'm usually seduced by chocolate, caramel and other such things, a couple of forecast scorching days inspired my to try something fruit-based from David Lebovitz's Perfect Scoop.

Don't misunderstand me, though: the base of this passionfruit icecream proved to be one of the richest frozen custards I've ever made. Though the volume of passionfruit juice seemed quite small, it thoroughly permeated the icecream and might have been boosted by the few drops of orange essence. While it was churning, Michael invited Mike and Jo over for dinner; several hours and two Michael-made curries later, it reached the perfect consistency. Firm enough to scoop, but only just so; it was airy, creamy, and just a little bit tangy. Worth every one of the eight overpriced passionfruits that went into it.

Passionfruit icecream

8 passionfruits
1 cup cream
6 tablespoons milk
7 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
a few drops of orange essence

Halve the passionfruits and use a small spoon to dig out the pulp and seeds. David suggests mushing them through a sieve to extract the pulp; I put them through a food processor first to loosen the mixture. Either way, you're aiming for about 1/2 cup of pulp (without seeds). Reserve about a quarter of the seeds for later. Stir together the pulp and half of the cream in a bowl.

Put the milk, sugar, salt and remaining cream in a saucepan and gently warm them, dissolving the sugar. Whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl, then slowly pour the warmed cream into the bowl, whisking constantly. When it's all well mixed, pour it back into the saucepan and turn up the heat just a little. Keep stirring, stirring, stirring, making sure nothing sticks to the bottom, until the custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon.

Pour the custard through the sieve and into the passionfruit cream. Stir it all together and allow it to cool a while before stirring through the orange essence. Refrigerate the mixture until it's very cold, then churn it in an icecream maker; throw the reserved passionfruit seeds in towards the end.


  1. Which ice cream maker do you have? I've been meaning to buy one but I've heard such mixed reviews re: refrigerated vs gel canister.

    Passionfruit would be a great flavor. I love tangy icecream on hot summer days

  2. Looks amazing! You lucky people with your summer fruits and all...

  3. Oh, I love making my icecreams by starting with custards. Unfortunately, I have to do the go-to-the-fridge-every-hour-and-whip method.

    Inspired, I am.

  4. Maria, I have a Sunbeam Snowy - I think it's what you'd call a gel canister. My impression is that self-refrigerating ones are meant to be better quality, but they're also a lot more expensive. I just went cheap and cheerful (~$50) since I consider it an inessential appliance. :-) That said, my previous icecream maker (a similar model) lasted 7 years!

    Thanks Mallika, I am fairly smothering myself in summer fruit at the moment. :-D

    That's dedication, Bunches! I've only gone the freeze-whip-freeze-whip-freeze-oh-my-god-can-I-eat-it-yet method a couple of times. Actually homemade icecream is still delayed gratification even with the machine, especially when custard's involved.

  5. Mmmm best icecream ever. I might have to call on Sunday afternoons more often to secure impromptu dinner invites. I am drooling thinking about it's tangy mighty passionfruityness.

  6. You're very kind, JL - all I ask in return for my icecream churning is the occasional shower of overblown praise. :-D