Fresh stone fruits are wonderful to work with in the kitchen, whether you’re talking about peaches, plums, nectarines or any other fruits in the family. They’re delicious and versatile, so you can eat them out of hand or bake them into anything from a fruit cobbler to a pie. Apricots are one stone fruit that I particularly enjoy and they don’t get featured in recipes quite as often as some of their cousins. I attribute this to the fact that the smaller fruits are so popular in dried form (which is also excellent for baking, particularly in granola and cookies) that the fresh fruit simply gets overlooked sometimes. But fresh apricots have a unique honeyed sweetness that tastes like summer and I like to enjoy them whenever I can when the fruits are in season.
This Apricot Ice Cream is definitely a good choice for summer. The ice cream is made with a pound of fresh apricots, which are lightly cooked to soften them and then pureed right into the ice cream. You get a tremendous amount of flavor from all that fruit, but the ice cream itself is still rich, creamy and very satisfying. The recipe is easy to make and only requires a little bit of time to prep the fruit – and the results are well worth it.
You can actually use frozen apricots for this recipe, though I highly recommend using fresh fruit. Fresh fruit is actually a little easier to work with, though the fruit has to be peeled, because frozen fruit should be defrosted and drained of an excess liquid before being combined with the sugar. That said, frozen fruit doesn’t need to be “cooked” quite as long, but you’re not saving much time there. When they are in season, fresh apricots are the way to go with this recipe. And if you weren’t an apricot fan before this, you will be after having a scoop.
This recipe is adapted from my recipe for Fresh Peach Ice Cream from my book, How to Make Ice Cream: 51 Recipes for Classic and Contemporary Flavors, a very handy little book to have in your collection during the summer! Pick one up if you don’t have a copy already!
Fresh Apricot Ice Cream
16-oz fresh apricots, peeled and pitted
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Slice apricots into six or eight pieces. In a medium saucepan, combine apricots and sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook until fruit is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow apricot mixture to cool.
In a food processor or blender, puree the cooled apricots until they are very smooth (though a few small bits are ok and will give the ice cream a little texture). Stir in heavy cream, milk and vanilla extract.
Cover apricot mixture and refrigerate until well-chilled, about 3-4 hours, or overnight.
Pour chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze as directed.
Transfer to a freezer safe container and allow ice cream to firm up for 1-2 hours before serving.
Makes about 1 quart