A Frozen Treat Outside the Box: Avocado Ice Cream

Since the purchase of my ice cream maker attachment for my stand mixer, I was really excited to create my own!  I took a little walk on the wild side, and decided to make some unusual flavors that you wouldn't exactly find at the grocery store.  One flavor I enjoy is my avocado ice cream.  Now before you think I've lost my mind, hear me out: Avocado is a great neutral and creamy base for desserts, and yet, tremendously under-utilized.  Most have only savored salty guacamole and spicy accompaniments, but avocados are capable of so much more.  In fact, the Thai culture embraced the idea before me, via their delicious Boba drinks (also known s Bubble Tea).  Think of Boba drinks as a Thai-style smoothie, with various fruit flavors and those funky, dark tapioca pearls (aka Boba) at the bottom.  My favorite Boba drink flavor?  Avocado, of course!  It's the inspiration to my avocado ice cream.  I modified a vanilla custard base from one of my many cookbooks:

Cara's Avocado Ice Cream:

-  1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
-  1 and 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
-  5 egg yolks
-  3/4 cup sugar
-  about 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1/2 of a lime)
-  1 very large Hass Avocado (almost 1 pound)

Make sure your ice cream maker attachment has had at least 12 hours to freeze before making the ice cream.  In a medium saucepan, heat whole milk and heavy whipping cream over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbles start to form at the edges of the pan (typically around 5-7 minutes).  In a separate bowl (metal or pyrex would be ideal), whisk together egg yolks and sugar until combined and slushy, set aside.  When milk and cream combination is ready, temper the egg/sugar mixture by SLOWLY pouring a few ladles of cream into egg/sugar mixture while whisking the bowl to ensure the eggs don't scramble.  Once eggs are tempered, add mixture back into the saucepan.  Place saucepan back over medium heat, and stir constantly until the custard simmers.  When the custard base can coat the back of a spoon, run your finger through it, if the line stays, it's ready.  Rinse and dry the metal bowl you were using earlier.  Pour custard base through a fine strainer into the metal bowl.   Now find a bowl that your metal bowl can sit inside of.   Fill about 1/3rd of the larger bowl with a couple of handfuls of ice and cold water to create an ice bath for your custard base.  Place metal bowl in ice bath, and whisk the custard base until it reaches about room temperature and remove from ice bath.  In another bowl, mash the, skinned and seeded, avocado and lime juice together.  Add to custard base and whisk in.  If you still have some globs of avocado in the custard, use an immersion blender (or even put the custard in a regular blender) for a smooth consistency.  Cover the bowl of custard with plastic wrap, making sure to gently press the plastic wrap right onto the custard, to prevent a skin from forming.  Place custard in the fridge and chill for at least 20 minutes.  During this time you can set up your stand mixer or ice cream maker.  Be sure to follow your machine's instructions for creating the perfect ice cream.  I mixed mine for about 30 minutes until I got the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.  You can serve it that way (which I personally think the BEST way to eat it), or you can also place the ice cream in a freezer safe container, and let harden for a few hours.

I hope you enjoy my Thai inspired ice cream, and maybe it will encourage you to think outside the box, and also outside the carton!  More interesting flavors are in the works, so be ready for more unusual, yet delicious frozen treats!

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