15 August 2007
Day 4: Grapefruit-Poppy Seed Ice Cream
I’ll admit even I was skeptical about grapefruit ice cream. As a kid, my mom always made me eat a half a grapefruit or an orange with my dinner. In retrospect, this is pretty odd, sitting down to a bowl of pasta with a grapefruit on the side, but it was my mom’s way of making sure I got fruit in my diet. Often, I’d take a sip of the milk I was also forced to drink after a bite of the grapefruit, and there would be this horrible clash of flavors in my mouth. Since then, I’ve assumed grapefruit and dairy could not work together. However, I proceeded with creating an ice cream recipe, and it turns out my assumptions were terrifically wrong!
Of all the ice creams I’ve made, this is one of my favorites. The grapefruit juice is cooked down into a syrup, and the little pieces of pulp caramelize into tiny sweet-tart bursts of fruit. A friend swore I had put little pieces of strawberry in it, until I could convince her they really were tiny bits of caramelized grapefruit. Even though the ice cream is quite sweet, it has just the right dose of tart grapefruit to balance it out. Grapefruit complements a lot of different flavors (check out all the variations listed below), but I loved this with a swirl of poppy seeds throughout. The ice cream doesn’t freeze quite as firm as other ice creams, which means it’s perfect for making at home, as it won’t turn rock-hard after a few days in the freezer. Not that I’ve ever had it last that long anyway.
P.S. Don't do what I did: I thought it would be nice to photograph the ice cream with some sections of grapefruit, and while it was pretty, the tart grapefruit wasn't very tasty in a dessert. Stick to the ice cream as-is.
Grapefruit Ice Cream
Fear not, this ice cream is wonderfully delicious, with just the right balance of sweet-tart flavor! I love how the little pieces of grapefruit caramelize in the syrup. Because of the higher concentration of sugar, this won't freeze quite as firm as other ice creams.
2 cups half and half (or 1 cup whole milk, 1 cup heavy cream)
1 cup grapefruit juice (pulpy is good)
1 tsp grapefruit zest
1 cup sugar
1. Place the grapefruit juice, zest, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occaisionally to dissolve the sugar. Let the mixture simmer over medium heat until it reduces by about a third and is slightly syruppy, about 7-10 minutes. You should have about 2/3 of a cup of syrup. Let syrup cool completely.
2. Stir the half-and-half into the cooled syrup. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator (at least 3 hours please), then process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Add any desired additions (see below), at the end of churning. Pack into containers and store in the freezer.
Grapefruit-Poppy Seed Ice Cream: sprinkle in 2 tbl poppy seeds at the end of churning.
Grapefruit-Ginger Ice Cream: add 2 tbl minced crystallized ginger.
Grapefruit-White Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream: add a handful of white chocolate chunks.
Grapefruit-Citrus Ice Cream: add 2 tbl minced candied orange rind.