Every apricot pit conceals an intensily aromatic kernel. Eaten raw, this kernel is unpleasantly bitter. Once toasted, its taste gets somewhat milder, reminiscent of almond and amaretto. In fact I just learned while writing this post that apricot kernels are sometimes used to make amaretto! I figured these potent nuts would be perfect for ice cream, as the cold tends to tone down the flavors.
You may wonder if you’re really going to have to spend your summer eating apricots, and then half of your fall breaking pits with a hammer, just so you can enjoy a cup of ice cream. There’s a much simpler solution: buy the kernels by the pound at Apricot Power (love the name). You may also wonder, no matter how delicious it may be, what this peculiar ice cream is doing on this blog. Simple, too: it’s the perfect match for my Sachertorte!
Apricot kernel ice cream
Yields about 1 qt
3.5 oz apricot kernels
1/8 tsp salt
24 oz milk
4 egg yolks
4 oz superfine sugar
7 oz heavy cream
1.5 oz non-fat milk powder
3.5 oz honey
- Place the apricot kernels on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with the salt, and cook in a 300 F oven for 45 minutes.
- Bring 1/3 of the milk to a boil, and transfer to a blender with the toasted kernels. Let steep for 5 minutes, then process until smooth. Pass through a chinois, and reserve.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar to a pale ribbon. Place the rest of the milk with the heavy cream, milk powder, and honey in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Pour into the bowl while whisking, add the apricot kernel and milk mixture, then place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk the custard until it coats the back of a spoon. Pass through a chinois into a container over a bowl of ice water, and let cool. Transfer the container to the freezer and wait until it is completely cold.
- Churn the custard in an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to the freezer for at least 2 hours before serving.