One of the reasons that I love living in California is that phrases like “I have a surplus of ripe avocados” are pretty commonly uttered in my kitchen. I love avocados and use them all the time on sandwiches, in salads and in guacamole. I often eat them plain, with just a sprinkle of salt if I get a really good one. I’m often tempted to turn them into a sweet dessert, as it is frequently done in Central and South America, but I almost always turn back to a savory dish in the end.
This is an avocado ice cream and, while it may share its color with some savory avocado dishes, it is definitely a dessert dish. The ice cream is made by pureeing avocados with some sugar, milk and half-and-half. A food processor works best for this, as it does an excellent job blending everything together and making sure that all of the sugar is well-incorporated into the ice cream base. I added some rum, for a little flavoring and because a small amount of alcohol will help to lower the freezing point of the mixture, making it softer in the freezer, and a little bit of vanilla extract. You could leave out the alcohol, if you like, but your ice cream may not be quite as creamy once it has been stored in the freezer.
The finished product is a very creamy sorbet, with a definite splash of rum and vanilla, and the slightest aftertaste of avocado. it’s not quite as creamy as an ice cream, but much smoother than most fruit-based sorbets. I think that if the ice cream wasn’t green, you might get away with pretending the avocado isn’t in there at all. The ice cream is good on its own, but gets even better if you introduce a little bit of texture to it. I found that chopped pistachios looked great on top of the ice cream and added a nice crunch, as well as a little bit of a toasty flavor. The ice cream also went fabulously with hot fudge sauce, which seemed to really bring out the rum notes in the dessert.
Avocado Ice Cream
2 ripe avocados (approx 1 1/4 cups avocado)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup half-and-half
2 tbsp rum
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup chopped, toasted pistachios, for serving
In a food processor, combine avocados, sugar, milk, half-and-half, rum and vanilla extract. Whizz for about 2 minutes, until mixture is very smooth and you can’t feel any grains of sugar in it.
Chill for up to 24 hours if not using right away.
Pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to directions.
Ice cream can be served immediately, with a generous sprinkle of chopped pistachios on each serving, or frozen in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Note: There should be no problems with this turning brown (as avocados can at room temperature) because it is always chilled or frozen, so don’t worry about the lovely green color fading!