Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oh-No-She-Didn't Avocado Ice Cream

Way back in March, I asked around for suggestions on what to do with a bunch of avocados I had acquired from a coworker. I received some very strange suggestions, like avocado pudding, avocado cupcakes, and avocado milkshakes. But the most common suggestion was avocado ice cream. Really guys? Look what you've gone and made me do!

Mitchell's Ice Cream in San Francisco has a famous one. So it couldn't be that bad, right? I went online to research avocado ice cream recipes. I looked at forums, blogs, and recipe websites. A lot of online reviews complained of the ice cream tasting like rotten bananas. That scared me. It's one thing if one person makes that comment and has a strange taste experience, but when multiple people say the same negative thing, and about completely different avocado ice cream recipes? That's when the red flag appears. I got to thinking, yeesh, what if pureed avocados mixed with milk and sugar do taste like rotten bananas? It would be a bizarre discovery, but also a fascinating one!

I looked for tips on how to make the ice cream more pleasing to the tastebuds, and ultimately decided to modify Alton Brown's recipe to eliminate any chance of it tasting like rotten bananas. I added a pinch of salt to his recipe, as well as increased the quantity of sugar significantly.

The result is an amazingly creamy ice cream. The high fat content in avocados negates any need for eggs and requires much less heavy cream than most ice cream recipes. The color is a beautiful light, sort of milky, green. And let's talk about taste. No essence of rotten banana. Hooray! But weird? Yes! It definitely tastes like avocado, which is strange, but fortunately, I added enough sugar to mask any offensive or overwhelming taste. It's refreshing, and friends discussed with me how this recipe might be used alongside the meal, rather than as dessert. Think of it as frozen guacamole. You can't dip chips in it, but maybe a small scoop would be the perfect accompaniment for enchiladas, or served as an amuse bouche before the main course.

I admit, there's a lot left in my freezer, but that's because when given the option, my friends are going to go for my chocolate or vanilla ice cream over something so unconventional. Still, they all tried the avocado flavor and were pleasantly surprised! Maybe the trick is to add chocolate chips or a swirl of fudge ripple so I can finish off the batch once and for all! Any takers then?

Avocado Ice Cream
Adapted from Alton Brown's recipe in the Good Eats episode "Curious Yet Tasty Avocado Experiment"

12 ounces avocado meat, 3 to 4 small to medium
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup - 1 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream

Peel and pit the avocados. Add the avocados, lemon juice, milk, salt, and sugar to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a medium mixing bowl, then add the heavy cream and whisk to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and place the mixture into the refrigerator to chill overnight.

Process the mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. For soft ice cream, serve immediately. If desired, place in freezer for 3 to 4 hours for firmer texture.

Step-by-Step in Pictures
Peel and pit the avocados. Place in the food processor...

Add lemon juice, milk, salt, and sugar..

Puree until smooth...

Pour the mixture through a strainer into a medium bowl...

Add the heavy cream...

Whisk to combine, then cover and chill overnight in the fridge...

Churn in the ice cream maker, then serve as is or place in the freezer to set more...

Be brave. Try it! :-)


Mom said...

I had some and it was actually pretty tasty. I think it would have been better if I didn't know it was avocado...maybe I would have thought the green came from some other green ingredient, like honeydew or kiwi!But avocado ice cream is unique and it was definitely fun to try! So glad you are adventurous!!

Sarah said...

I made some chocolate vegan mousse - using avocado - recently and if you didn't know it was avocado, it tasted nice. A little different but nice. But I did get quite a reaction upon revealing the secret ingredient.

David M said...

I had avocado ice cream for my first time @ Le Cremier in Jounieh, Lebanon and it was delicious. I was very reluctant but my friend enforced my commitment to try anything once while visiting. Wished you had brought some of this to the office so I could have compared.

RockyRoad said...

Marni, I have to draw the line here and say no way to the Avocado ice cream. -Eric

Unknown said...

My dad LOVES avocado-anything, including ice cream! He'd finish your entire batch in a heartbeat, with or without the chocolate! :) I'll have to forward your recipe to Cindy so she can make it for dad.

Anonymous said...

HI Marni,
I can surely help you to finish your avocado ice cream; We in Indonesia eat a lot of avocado ice cream; especially when you mix with ice coffee. It is one of the best refreshing summer drink......try it you will like it too.

Good luck,
Eddy (Crystal's Dad)

Marni said...

Mom - Thanks for being brave enough to try it!! And hey, it wasn't so bad, was it?!

Sarah - So interesting! I would never have guessed you could use avocado in chocolate mousse. Or at least, I'd expect it to be a noticeable flavor.

David - Wow, so it's a common flavor in Lebanon? Neat! Glad you were daring enough to taste it. I did in fact bring samples of this flavor to the office, so it's too bad our paths didn't cross that day!

RockyRoad - Keep an open mind! Maybe you'd like it if you tried it!

ctjhia - haha that's great! I hope Cindy makes it. And then I want a full report back!

Eddy - I love that you came on here and posted a comment beneath your daughter's! So awesome!! If I ever have extra avocados up north, now I know where to drop them off! Or whom to make my official taste tester when I do something weird with them. :)

Jays said...

Marni, I will help you finish anything you make, any time. I still have never made avocado ice cream, though every year when our tree goes into overdrive I intend to do so.

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