I Scream Bravo! for Avocado

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I assume many people immediately think of guacamole when avocados are mentioned, but for me they’re in that pantheon of fruit that is so perfectly ready-to-eat that I can’t stand the thought of mashing it up into a chip dip. I read that in native Central America it’s sometimes referred to as a “butter pear,” and I think that describes it perfectly. You slice in past the first resistance of the skin into flesh as soft as butter until you hit the stone, circle around, and open. Inside is a seed with enough heft and smoothness as to seem like a wooden pearl that should be saved rather than discarded. Pick it out anyway, grab a spoon and gobble up the goodness. Yum!

So even I was a little skeptical when I came upon a recipe for Avocado Ice Cream in my recent purchase of David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop, a veritable bible for the ice cream and sorbet lover. I was worried that the addition of cream and sugar would dilute the avocado’s already mild flavor, but I was intrigued, and made this the first recipe I’d try.

And you know what? It’s unlike anything I’ve tasted before, and I’ll bet you’ll agree. First, a hint of fresh earthy green segues into sweet, then both come together as the richness of the fat content in the fruit and cream blend it all together. The pure flavor of avocado and salt is the finishing note. It doesn’t invite big bowl portions; in fact, a heaping spoon is satisfying for me, which is saying something for someone who loves ice cream as much as I… Although I’m intrigued by Lebovitz’s suggestion of taking this flavor into the realm of milkshake.  I know I’ll make this again and pair it with a ripe berry sorbet, I think, for the contrast of flavor and texture.

Another thing I like about this recipe is that unlike most ice creams which require you to refrigerate your base for a period of time before freezing in your ice cream maker, in this case you need only mix up your ingredients and freeze.

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Avocado Ice Cream

3 medium-sized ripe Hass avocados

3/4 c. sugar

1 c. sour cream

1/2 c. heavy cream

1 T. freshly squeezed lime juice

Big pinch of salt

Slice avocados in half and pluck out the pits. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon and cut into pieces. Puree in a blender with the rest of the ingredients until smooth and sugar is dissolved. Freeze in your ice cream maker immediately.

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Stay tuned for more fascinating flavors…

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