Sunday, July 8, 2018

Roasted Watermelon-Fennel Ice Cream #IceCreamSocial


"July is #NationalIceCreamMonth! Let's celebrate by sharing our favorite recipes for ice cream or that use ice cream as an ingredient! Looking forward to seeing what you all come up with :)," wrote Jolene, of Jolene's Recipe Journal, to the Festive Foodies. How could I not jump in to celebrate that?!

The Festive Foodies' Ice Cream Bar...

Public Radio-Inspired
I cannot tell you the number of times that conversations around our table begin: "I was listening to NPR on my way home from work...." So, this was awhile ago, but it stuck with me, I ended up buying her cookbook, and she's a favorite inspiration.

In any case, Jake started, "I was listening to NPR...and there was a woman being interviewed. Jenny something. You have to listen to the piece. It was all about making ice cream." Okay. "I know it will inspire you!"

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. Then, as I mentioned earlier, I bought her cookbook: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer.

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!


Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 C organic heavy whipping cream
  • 2 C fresh fennel fronds
  • 1/2 organic mini watermelon, sliced
  • 2 T + 1/2 C organic granulated sugar  


Procedure
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.


For the roasted watermelon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lay your slices in a baking sheet and sprinkle them with 2 T 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 sugar. Blend till smooth.


 For the Ice Cream
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!

12 comments:

  1. It never occurred to me to use watermelon in ice cream but evidently I am the only one. I am digging all these watermelon ice cream recipes.

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    Replies
    1. Haha. Right?!? So many more watermelon recipes than I anticipated.

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  2. I have had that book for quite a while, and love her recipes. They are so reliable, plus, I love her story. I haven't tried this one, but intend to! Sounds delicious.

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  3. What an interesting flavor combination and I love that your roasted the watermelon. I wish I could steal a bite to try!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I think roasting the watermelon added a real depth to the flavors.

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  4. This is one I'm going to have to try just to see what it tastes like. It sounds like such a unique combo!

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  5. Roasted watermelon sound amazing, lots of great tips here, thank you!

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