A-ha. The ulterior motive is usually yumminess on our table. So, I looked it up. It ended up being this piece on the Splendid Table: Episode 488 - Homemade Ice Cream. Her name is Jeni...with one 'n' and an 'i.'
I listened to it...twice.
I did try folding in some cheese - cream cheese - at the end to bring some toothiness to the ice cream. I didn't really care for it. But I was determined to try a couple more of her methods, including cold-steeping and roasting fruit.
Listen to what she says about binding the water in fruit with sugar to prevent iciness. "Water is your enemy in ice cream," Jeni caution, "it's what turns into ice." It makes sense. I just never thought of it that succinctly. No iciness here. It works!
- 1-1/2 C organic heavy whipping cream
- 2 C fresh fennel fronds
- 1/2 organic mini watermelon, sliced
- 2 T organic coconut sugar (this adds a distinct flavor...use a milder sugar if you want) + 1/2 C organic coconut sugar
For the cold-steeped cream
Pour the whipped cream in a bowl with a lid. Gently bruise the fronds and submerge them in the cream. Let steep overnight, at least. Ours sat for 24 hours. When ready to churn, pour the cream through a mesh and remove the fronds.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lay your slices in a baking sheet and sprinkle them with 2 T organic coconut sugar. Roast the melon until softened an a dark syrup has formed around them. I roasted mine for approximately 1 hour.
Let cool till you can handle the melon. Remove the rind and place flesh in a blender with 1/2 C organic coconut sugar. Blend till smooth.
Whisk the cold-steeped cream together with the watermelon mixture. Place all of the ingredients in your ice cream maker and process according to your machine. Ours took about 40 minutes to come to a soft, gelato-like texture. Spoon ice cream into a container and freeze before serving.
The verdict: roasting the watermelon added a depth of flavor that I hadn't expected. I will definitely be playing more with roasted fruit in my ice creams. Delish!