From Flavors of the Sun: Apricot Ice Cream
For some, summer is evoked by the smell of hot dogs on the grill or maybe tomatoes on the vine. For me, it’s the delicate scent of the apricot ice cream a neighboring store churned all summer long throughout my childhood. This ice cream has a unique stretchy texture from the mastic, and a lovely orange color. Because the ice cream base itself is not too sweet, the apricot flavor takes center stage. Whenever I mix up a batch, I am transported directly back to those sunny childhood days.
This recipe is in the Sweet chapter of Flavors of the Sun. The book is divided into five chapters: Bright, Savory, Spiced, Nutty, and Sweet so you can shortcut to exactly what you're craving. You can order your copy now from wherever books are sold.
MAKES 2 QT [1.9 L]
4 cups [960 ml] whole milk, preferably organic
2 1/2 tsp sahlab powder
1 cup [200 g] sugar
1 lb [455 g] tart dried apricots
11/2 tsp mastic “tears”
1 cup [240 ml] heavy cream
2 tsp orange blossom water
Pour all but 1⁄4 cup [60 ml] of the milk into a large saucepan. In a small bowl, stir the sahlab into the reserved 1⁄4 cup [60 ml] of milk until dissolved. Stir the sahlab mixture into the saucepan of milk and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. When the mixture reaches a boil, add the sugar, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, for 25 minutes, until slightly thickened.
While the milk heats, combine the apricots with 1 cup [240 ml] water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir once, then cover and set aside to cool completely.
Using a small spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, grind or pulverize the mastic to a very fine powder. Transfer the powder to a small bowl and blend with
1 Tbsp of the heavy cream. Add to the hot milk mixture and cook for 5 more minutes, or until slightly thickened. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
While the milk cools, combine the apricots and cooking liquid in a blender or food processor. Purée until very smooth.
Strain the cooled milk mixture into a clean bowl. Stir in the remaining cream, the orange blossom water, and the apricot purée. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.
Pour the ice cream mixture into the canister of an ice cream maker and freeze according to the instructions. Transfer to freezer containers and freeze for at least 2 hours or until completely firm. Keep frozen until ready to serve.