Caramel Rippled Apricot Ice Cream

Who doesn’t love apricots? Honestly though, I’m only a recent convert myself–I always used to think they were sour and the peach’s short, ugly cousin. Turns out, I’d only tried not-quite-ripe apricots–the really ripe ones are tender, ready to burst, and lusciously sweet and velvetty. Sounds perfect for an ice cream, right?

Now that apricots are in season and surprisingly cheap, its a great time to try this sexy little fruit in its fresh rather than the much more familiar dried form. The only tough thing is managing them–I’ll buy a bunch that are just shy of being ripe, wait for them to ripen just right, and they almost always all are ready at the same time, at which point, you have a very small window before they go bad. Frustrating, but all the more reason to gobble them up in a hurry and get more, right?

So for this ice cream, you start with a bunch of these so-ripe-they-bruise-to-the-touch apricots, poach them in some white wine until they fall apart, and combine them with some flavors to enhance their more subtle qualities (e.g. almond, caramel, and honey). The resulting ice cream, like apricots, is lusciously sweet, velvetty, vibrant, and tinged with the slight bitterness of almonds and the darker backdrop of swirls and pockets of caramel throughout.

This is also one of my entries in You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Frozen Desserts, an event focused on the cold treats to fight off the summer heat (also, the star of the logo!). Don’t forget to join in!

  • ~10 very ripe apricots (~1.5-1.75 lbs)
  • 1/4 cup white wine (something sweet, I went overboard and used Sauternes)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • small squeeze of lemon juice
  • few drops almond extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • Caramel sauce
    • 1/2 cup of sugar
    • 3 Tbsp butter
    • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Begin with the apricots. You want apricots that are so ripe, that they seem to bruise just about anywhere you touch them–they should be ready to just explode with juice. Halve and pit these, doing your best to reserve any errant juice.

In a saucepan, warm the water and wine up to about medium heat so that it is just under a simmer. Put the pitted apricots in the liquid, cover the pan, and poach for about 10 minutes, stirring on occasion and removing from heat once time is up.

Now, the apricots will look kind of like jam as they ought to be kind of fallen apart. Add in the 1/2 cup of sugar and honey, stirring just until dissolved, after which, you should puree this entire mixture in a food processor or blender. Transfer the mix into a bowl with 1/2 cup of the cream, lemon juice, and almond extract. Mix well and set it up in an ice bath with a strainer on top.

And now, in a saucepan, scald the remaining 1/2 cup of cream and 1/2 cup of whole milk, taking care not to boil. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks and the remaining tablespoon of sugar until creamy. Temper the eggs with a good scoop of the hot cream as you stir, after which, you should mix the yolk mixture into the hot cream saucepan and stir constantly.

Warm this up until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and constantly stir to avoid any scrambling. After somewhere around 5-10 minutes, pour the cooked custard through the strainer into your cool apricot mixture and whisk this all together well. Press some plastic wrap right on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and transfer this to the fridge for about 6 hours.

While the custard cools, toast the almonds on a cookie sheet in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes, shaking them up once halfway through to prevent burning. Once they’ve cooled off a bit, smash them down to a smaller size in a plastic bag with a meat mallet and set this bag aside in the fridge.

Also, prepare the caramel sauce. Heat the sugar in a sauce pan on high heat until it goes from odd chunks to almost entirely melted down (figure between 5 and 10 minutes). Then, drop the heat a bit, add the butter (be careful! It will froth up!) and whisk it. Once mixed, remove from heat, let rest for a few seconds, and then whisk in the cream. Once totally mixed, let this cool for a bit before moving to another container in the fridge.

Finally, several hours later, its time to churn the ice cream. Follow the instructions with your ice cream maker and churn the custard for about 20 minutes, adding the almonds during the last minute or two of churning. Also, have your caramel sauce ready for when the churning is done.

You don’t want to just dump the caramel into the ice cream maker as well, or else it will be mixed right into the custard and you’ll have a muddied looking ice cream when what you really want are distinct swirls. So instead, sprinkle some lines of caramel sauce in the bottom of the container you intend to store the ice cream in. Then, with the ice cream done churning, pour some of the ice cream into the container and then shake in a few more bits of caramel sauce in a haphazard pattern. Continue this in layers until you run out of both ice cream and caramel sauce–but be warned, time is of the essence as you don’t want your ice cream to melt too much! Once you’ve poured it all together, fold this a bit to spread the swirls a bit more through the ice cream and transfer this to the freezer over night.

Finally, when tomorrow rolls around, pile this on high and top it off with some creme chantilly (and maybe even a cherry on top). Enjoy!

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32 Responses to “Caramel Rippled Apricot Ice Cream”

  1. Peter Says:

    Oh shit Mike…you should really enter into the ice cream contest held by the “big company” that holds a competition each year…you’re a serious threat. This kicks ass!

  2. Catherine Says:

    Well now. I don’t know what to do about this! I just really want to come there, and sit around all summer while you make ice cream like this and serve me while I sit around at your house, ordering movies pay-per-view, drinking gin, and waiting for more ice cream!
    This is stellar!

  3. noble pig Says:

    You are my biggest source of wanting to eat all the time. I could really use this cool treat on such a hot day. It’s beautiful.

  4. cakewardrobe Says:

    I feel like every time I’m on your site, I’m getting a food orgasm!!!! YUMMMM

  5. Terry B Says:

    I keep resisting getting yet another appliance, an ice cream maker. You keep making it difficult, with amazing dishes like this one. Beautiful!

  6. Sandie Says:

    Ha…”the peach’s short, ugly cousin.” Too funny…

    The husband and I love apricots, the kids…not so much (but they don’t hate them either). I recently made an apricot kuchen I planned on putting on Inn Cuisine, and that would be my apricot-based treat for the month. But this ice cream sounds terrific! I guess a few more days filled with apricot treats isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

  7. Lisa Says:

    Oh, caramel is my very favorite. If I had an ice cream maker, I’d be rushing into the kitchen right away. I’m thinking it is a good think I don’t have an ice cream maker though. I simply don’t need treats like this around to tempt me.

  8. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy Says:

    This looks amazing, Mike! I love fresh apricots, but they always go bad before I can use them up. This is a great (and delicious) way to “save” them.

  9. Kevin Says:

    This ice cream sounds amazing! I can;t wait for the apricots.

  10. kittie Says:

    It is 08:30 and I’m thinking this would make a suitable Friday breakfast!! Slurp!

    You really should go into the ice-cream business 😀

  11. grace Says:

    wow…apricots ARE sexy. who knew? plus, anything draped in caramel makes me giddy, so this ice cream could lead to some scandalous behavior. :) nicely done.

  12. aforkfulofspaghetti Says:

    Wow. And wow again. Would never have thought of throwing apricots and caramel together like this. But yeah, why not?

  13. Ulrike Says:

    Huh, I need some ripe apricots, that sounds so good!

  14. kate Says:

    Mike you have made me your fan with this sensuous ice cream. Like you too, i’m a fairly new fan of apricots and perefer the riper fruits. I can only imagine how wonderful this must taste. Truly impressive.

  15. Lore Says:

    I cannot believe you were misled by those ugly unripe apricots for such a long time. At least you have this delicious creamy ice cream to help you make up for all that time.

  16. Deeba Says:

    OMG…you are an ice-cream GURU Mike!! It’s getting better & better. Love the idea of fruit in an ice-cream. Delicious…& with great pictures!

  17. Meeta Says:

    This is purely sensational!! You really are the God of Ice Creams! HAHAHA! Can I move in for the summer and I will willingly be your guinea pig for all your ice-cream experiments. Lovely!

  18. White On Rice Couple Says:

    I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t love apricots. If there are any, send them my way, I’ll take care of them!
    I absolutely love apricots and always wanted to have an apricot tree! Can you imagine if I did? I could make gallons and gallons of your beautiful ice cream!

  19. Pam Says:

    I love apricots and ice cream… what a great combination. Thanks for the inspiration.

  20. Ivy Says:

    I love apricots as well and never thought of making an apricot ice-cream, but it sure looks delicious. I have been thinking of buying an ice-cream machine for some time now and I think I might do that soon. Until then I am still making handmade ice-cream and you will have my recipe soon.

  21. brilynn Says:

    I almost never eat fresh apricots, but this ice cream certainly makes a convincing case for buying some!

  22. My Sweet & Saucy Says:

    Oh…this looks yummy!

  23. RecipeGirl Says:

    This one is getting copied for sure. We’re HUGE apricot fans around here… and caramel just puts it over the top!!!

  24. Joy Says:

    Yuuuuuuuum! This looks so delicious. I tend to have really bad luck with fresh apricots; they’re always rock hard. If I chance on some juicy ones I will have to give this a try.

  25. Aparna Says:

    Don’t particularly like apricots, Mike, but am willing to try them again in this ice-cream “avatar”.

  26. FlaNboyantEats Says:

    I love that you call the fruit *sexy*–they were indeed! Nice job on this recipe.

  27. Graeme Says:

    All of the different layers must taste incredible, I’d go for honey and white wine as in flavour in itself!

  28. Joanne at frutto della passione Says:

    Looks divine, wish I could taste it. I’m going to have to get an ice cream maker, but first I need a bigger kitchen!

  29. Mansi Says:

    you just don’t get enough of Ice-creams, huh! and u keep tempting us with all those lovely pics!! such a sadist you are Mike:)D

  30. Bernadette Says:

    This looks wonderful, I’ve been saving about 4 pounds of apricots that I received from our neighbor last weekend. They are so ripe now that they bruise where they are sitting. So about perfect, I would guess. I’m going to make a batch of this later tonight, but have one question: you don’t say to peel the apricots but in the pix, they look like they’ve been peeled. Can you let me know if you peeled them in advance, or just let the peels get finely chopped in the food processor? (more vitamins that way!)

  31. Noor Allah Shikaghy Says:

    Thank you for your images. I’m a Syrian English teacher and I will use your nice images for teaching purposes.

  32. Shri Says:

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. Am just adapting this recipe with inputs from other recipes, without eggs.
    I liked your tip on adding the caramel sauce into the ice cream.

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