Tips for making better fruit ice cream

 Raspberry ice cream

Ice cream is one of the easiest and most satisfying make-at-home desserts. Adding fruit flavors makes a good thing even better, but there are some rules you should follow, says Max Falkowitz of indexed magazine Saveur. He provides several handy tips for churning out (groan) smooth, creamy fruit ice cream. 

By following these rules, you will avoid the biggest pitfall when using fruit is the potential for icy ice cream. Since fruit contains a lot of water, it is also full of potential ice crystals. You can avoid this by understanding proper ratios, and by selecting the right fruit. The basic rule of thumb is that if it makes good jams or preserves, it will make good ice cream - think berries, stone fruits, and figs. Separate rules apply to more watery fruits and citrus.

One choice you will have to make is whether to use the fruit raw or cook it first. Falkowitz says his main guide is that "If you can pinch the fruit to mush easily in your fingers, leave it raw. Otherwise, cook it under  low heat-low to keep sugars from taking on a caramelized edge-until you can." He also prefers to whizz the fruit in a food processor or blender and strain through a fine mesh strainer. It's more uniform, has less potential for ice crystals, and is easier to measure. 

About those measurements - while Falkowitz provides some ratios for fruit and dairy, he says they are more templates than hard and fast rules. "Compared to pastry and other forms of baking, ice cream is a forgiving dessert," he says. You can play around with the proportion of fruit to dairy and also the kinds of dairy. 

Photo of Raspberry ice cream from Saveur Magazine

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