Baby Alaskas with Brandied Apricots - the picture in the recipe book looked quite impressive and the recipe didn't seem that hard to follow. The first step required softened ice cream, so I pulled it from the freezer as required, then popped outside to hang out the washing. I promptly forgot all about the ice cream and went into town for some lunch (and to ransack the $ DVD bin at The Warehouse). Upon discovering the small pond which had formed on the counter and kitchen floor when I got back, I realised it was time to reconsider the project...
- g caster sugar
- ml water
- g apricots
- tbspns lemon juice
Put the sugar and water into a pot and bring slowly to the boil, stirring all the while until dissolved; put aside to cool. Put a pot of water on to boil; use it to blanch the apricots (half a minute at the absolute most). Remove the skin and stone, then pop the denuded fruit into a bowl along with the lemon juice. Purée with a stick mixer/moulis/cheap immigrant labour until smooth. Stir in the sugar syrup. Taste and adjust with more lemon juice if it's too sweet - you don't want to overwhelm the apricot flavour.
If you have an ice-cream machine, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. These machines result in a fantastic finish as their constant churning ensures that ice crystal formation is kept as small as possible. Mine takes minutes, after which I placed the sorbet into an airtight container and back into the freezer (by the way, it's ready to eat there and then).
No ice cream maker? Simply place the puréed apricot in a large dish and pop into the freezer. Remove every minutes and break up the crystals with a whisk or fork, incorporating as much air as possible into the mix. Once it's thick enough to scoop, scrape it into an airtight container and place back in the freezer.
Apricots: I love 'em! Nothing beats a chilled, juicy Roxburgh apricot, one of my favourite summer fruits. A huge thank you to Helen & Rob for my bag of treats!
Seasonal availability chart (fruit & veg) courtesy of Chevalier Wholesale Produce in Auckland - clickety