Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pomegranate Kiwi Ice Cream

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My grandparents, as the story goes (or as I remember the story going, at least), used to meet up with their friends to make ice cream. Each of them would bring an ingredient and they would add them together on hot summer days. I seem to remember this being done on a tennis court, but that part is pretty shady as far as memories of passed-down stories go. See, this is how false information seeps into legends. But it's my legend, so I get to decide what I remember. And I remember the making of the ice cream being on a tennis court!!

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So, after years of legendary ice cream making on the tennis court, my grandma passed on this tradition down to me. She used a pan of ice frozen just for the occasion and then had us sit on her front step and shatter it with an ice pick. The cold shards would go into the oversized ice cream machine with the rock salt and we would wait impatiently until it solidified.

These days, I use an iceless, saltless electric machine. I don't think that my ice cream making will leave nearly as strong of an impression on the minds of small children as hers did. I just can't compete with ice picks and flying shards.

Here is her base vanilla recipe, the stuff of legend, with a pomegranate twist.

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(Photo by Keith Williamson)

Yeild: 1 1/2 quarts

Ingredients:
3 cups whole milk
1/2 can evaporated milk (6 oz)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 pint whipped heavy cream (whip to the soft peak stage).

For the pomegranate sauce:

3 pomegranates
2 kiwis
3 tablespoons sugar

Directions:

Begin preparing the pomegranate sauce by seeding the pomegranates. I didn't take any photos of the process, so you'll have to settle for some quick drawings by yours truly.

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Seeding can be done by cutting the poms in half, and then scoring the skin at about 1 inch intervals, allowing the skin to fan open a bit but still hold together. Take half of a pomegranate and hold it over a big mixing bowl that has a couple of inches of cold water in it. Whack the back of the pomegranate with a large ladle or spoon and let the seeds fall out into the water.

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A word of caution, this is a messy project and that pomegranate juice splatters very red! Many of the seeds will pop out this way, but there are always some strays that I have to dig out with my fingers. The good seeds will sink to the bottom of the water. The unwanted bits of skin and seed and membrane will float to the top and can be skimmed off. When finished, drain the seeds.

Prepare the kiwis by cutting them in half, then use a spoon to scoop out the flesh from the skin.

Add the pomegranate seeds and the skinned kiwis to a blender and pulse until well blended. This separates off the juicy part of the seed.

Thoroughly press and scrape the fruit mixture through a strainer into a sauce pan. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar, more or less, depending on how tart you want it. Gently boil the juices, until the mixture is reduced by about a third and starts to thicken. Watch it carefully to make sure it doesn't burn. Place the sauce in the fridge to cool it down a bit while preparing the rest of the ice cream.

For the ice cream base, stir together the whole milk, evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the cooled-down pomegranate sauce. When your ice cream maker is ready to go, fill your container about half way. Leave some room for the ice cream to expand during freezing, and for the whipped cream.

Mix until the ice cream is at the loose slush stage. Add the whipped cream (in proportion to the amount of ice cream mixture you poured into your machine — for mine, I do half at a time), then continue to let the machine run its course. Then wait impatiently while it solidifies in the freezer.

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I'm on a baby weight loss diet (I know — during the holidays — what was I thinking?) So, I cherish my occasional pomegranate ice cream indulgence. I add a spoonful to my sugar free hot chocolate. It makes me feel fat, and happy.
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