I’m warning all of us now, I might just have to go a little ice cream slap happy this summer. Some of us may recall that I got a new ice cream maker awhile back, after thwarting off the purchase because I was afraid I’d eat too much ice cream! Well, I played around with it a bit, coming up with some Ginger Peach Cheesecake Ice Cream and Banana Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, but mainly I stuck with recipes from cookbooks and fellow bloggers.
Not the case this year!
I’ve got ideas swirling in my head just as swirly as this Strawberry Apricot Swirl Ice Cream. I knew I wanted to use strawberries, since they are the ruby red jewels of God’s fruit kingdom, in my opinion. But some beautifully golden apricots caught my eye in the store this week, and a fresh new swirl opportunity was born.
Then I wanted to experiment with the base. I had tried both cooked custard bases and the throw-ingredients-in-the-blender-and-freeze variety. While the blender routine was much easier (can I say how many scrambled eggs I accidentally made in the custards?!), I felt they somehow lacked depth. So, while I was researching for my Zippy Tip Tuesday Ice Cream Tips tutorial video, I came across a recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home that looked most intriguing. It’s cooked, but without eggs, and has a pretty creamy dreamy texture. Speaking of texture, the apricot brandy is certainly optional, but I always add it to fruit in ice cream because it makes it less crystalized when frozen. Also, for a tutorial in peeling apricots, just watch my video How To Peel a Peach – same technique!
After churning the mixture and swirling in ribbons of strawberry and apricot sauces, I did my ritual licking of the paddle and deemed it a success.
In a small saucepan, combine ¾ teaspoon cornstarch and 3 tablespoons sugar. Add apricots, 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon apricot brandy and combine. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened (about 4 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
In another small saucepan, combine ¾ teaspoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons sugar. Add strawberries, 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon apricot brandy and combine. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened (about 4 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
For the ice cream base, mix about 2 tablespoons of the half & half with a tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a small bowl to make a slurry. In a medium bowl, whip the cream cheese and salt until smooth. In a large bowl, make an ice bath and set aside.
Pour the remaining half & half, ? cup sugar, and corn syrup into a saucepan. Bring to a boil at medium high heat and set a timer for precisely 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the cornstarch slurry and vanilla to the pan.
Slowly incorporate the hot mixture into the cream cheese with whisk or mixer. Place the bowl in the ice bath and chill. Cover and refrigerate until very cold (overnight if possible).
When ice cream base has chilled, churn in ice cream maker, according to manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon ½ of the ice cream into a freezer-safe container, followed by the apricot sauce. Repeat with one more layer of ice cream and the strawberry sauce and swirl everything together. Be careful not to overmix, to keep the swirl effect.
Place sealed container in freezer to bloom for at least 3 hours. Just before serving, remove from freezer and allow to rest 5-10 minutes before scooping into bowls.
Inspired by Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Base