Apparently my skills as a procrastinator have improved over the years. I have been trying to post this recipe for two weeks now, and finally I have succeeded.
It’s a cold and rainy day outside, and I have a beautiful, warm fire going in the fireplace. And what am I writing about? Cold, cold, cold ice cream! And I am getting a little chilly just thinking about it! Maybe that is why I have been procrastinating. Or maybe it’s all the holiday cooking I have been doing for my clients, decorating for Christmas, shopping for Christmas, and trying to keep the preschooler off Santa’s naughty list (a daunting task indeed!) But enough about me and my obvious plea for sympathy. . .
My neighbor has a small fuyu persimmon tree, but doesn’t like persimmons. She just likes to have a lot of different fruit trees, which works out well in my favor! I get apples, kumquats and persimmons, all organic and fresh from the tree.
The thing is, I don’t really like persimmon on its own. I love it baked into a cookie, bread or cake, but unlike my mother and sister I can’t sit and eat the fruit plain. But I did think the unique flavors of the persimmon would pair well with an ultra rich ice cream.
I had pureed and frozen the persimmon pulp for later use, which is great to do when you have an abundance of fruit. You can actually freeze the fruits whole, but for my purposes I went ahead and pureed the whole batch at one time.
The pulp of the fuyu persimmon actually becomes somewhat gelatinous when pureed. After freezing and defrosting, the pulp had the consistency of jam. It was a solid mass, not conducive to blending seamlessly with the custard. But I liked the idea of little bits and bursts of pure persimmon flavor in the ice cream. Would the persimmon lovers in the family approve?
Why yes, yes they did!
Persimmon Ice Cream
2 cups half and half
1 cup heavy cream
6 egg yolks
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 cups persimmon puree
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, scald the cream and milk. Be sure to watch the pot, as cream tends to boil over the minute you turn your back!
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the yolks, brown sugar, salt and vanilla until light and creamy. Add a small amount of hot cream to yolks, whisking quickly to temper the egg mixture. Gradually whisk in the remaining cream. Place the custard mixture over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk the custard constantly, until mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the bowl from the water bath, and strain the thickened custard through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Place the bowl immediately into an ice bath. Stirring occasionally, cool the custard. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent a skin forming. Chill the custard for at least one hour. This can be made up to two days ahead.
When ready to make the ice cream, place the persimmon puree into a large bowl.
Add the chilled custard to the bowl, and whisk well until combined.
Following the instructions on your ice cream maker, freeze the ice cream. Once frozen to soft serve consistency, place your ice cream into a freezer safe container to firm up completely. Scoop and enjoy!