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Avocado Ice Cream report...not quite there yet

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  • Carb Lover Jun 7, 2005 05:05 PM
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After making and enjoying a luscious avocado milkshake, I was dreaming about it in ice cream form and asked about a couple of recipes on Epicurious (see link). I envisioned the next big ice cream trend. So big that I could mass produce the stuff, monopolize the avocado ice cream market, buy a house w/ expansive ocean views, and retire early on my riches. Ice cream makes me grandiose/insane in these ways. Well, that may not happen for a while...

Pictured below was what I produced on my first attempt. And my pictures do not lie. The grayish green hue looked pretty unappetizing, and while the flavor "grew" on me, it wasn't instant nirvana like I played out in my mind. An icy chunk still sits in my fridge awaiting disposal.

I didn't trust the avocado gelato recipe from Gourmet so made up my own. What I did: In blender, blended together 3 ripe, medium-sized, Hass avocadoes; 2 c. whole milk; 1/2 c. heavy cream; 1/2 c. sugar; juice of 1 lime; dash of vanilla. Tasted it. Sweet enough but flavor was too "heavy" w/ a cloying vegetal quality...like when I eat too many raw carrots at once. It needed more perking up, so I risked adding the juice of another lime. Tasted brighter and more balanced. Consistency was like a thick milkshake. Cooled and then churned in my ice cream maker. Chilled further before eating.

Impressions: Pretty good balance in flavor, but every once in a while the lime would stand out in a bite and create chaos in my mouth. Blech. Creamy but could tell there weren't any stabilizers. Color was drab; I'm tempted to add a little green food coloring next time. Grew on me halfway through, whereas husband refused to eat it after a couple of bites.

What I learned for next time:
1. Avocado quality is key. I used the ones from Trader Joe's which have been pathetic lately. I would only use Hass from my farmer's market.
2. Use a little less lime juice.
3. Will only use whole milk (perhaps Straus) since avocadoes are rich enough.
4. May have to buy some food coloring. Never bought before, so any recs?

So my fortune will have to wait until I perfect this recipe. Any suggestions appreciated. Any thoughts on whether simmering the avocado custard would minimize the raw, vegetal quality? If it doesn't come together next time around, I'm just going back to the good ole milkshake. Maybe it needs all that ice to counter the richness, so perhaps I should try the avocado ice recipe. Avocadoes are way too precious to waste...

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  1. maybe try looking for some ethenic recipes? I think avocado milkshake is pretty common in pearl tea shops. Maybe what you are seeking has already been done?

    Otherwise, kudos for being so adventurous!

    1. I think you're right that a custard base would be better for avocado.

      If you google "avocado ice cream recipe" there are lots of hits -- generally when I get search results like that I read through a dozen recipes to get ideas, and then choose the most appealing elements from several.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        I'm actually not sure what is best. Do you think that adding egg yolks would help? It's interesting b/c many recipes I've come across don't. IIRC, one recipe created a custard base and then a separate avocado puree. Then they were mixed during the churning process. I may try this.

        Any thoughts on cooking the avocado w/ the custard? This might mellow the avocado flavor (in a good way) but probably will make it discolor even more. Hrmph...

        1. re: Carb Lover

          Since I hate avocados, I'm the wrong person to ask.

          One more thing -- one recipe I looked at called for a pinch of salt. That might bring out the avocado flavor without using so much lime juice.

          1. re: Carb Lover

            Appearance may be improved with some grated lime zest in with the custard base. You'll want to cook it out a bit, but it might be interesting.

        2. The 99 Ranch Markets (one in Anaheim) sells Avocado ice cream. I purchased it because of its beautiful green color. I think it had all natural ingredients. (Maybe you could look at the list of ingredients to see what you can add to improve the color.)

          1. Looks great actually!! As for the drab color, that just maybe a risk with Avocado. I know after a while the REAL avocado milkshakes (I can never finish them) I get at asian places turn brown.

            --Dommy!

            4 Replies
            1. re: Dommy!

              I generally prefer to keep things as natural as possible; however, I'm such a visual eater that the anemic glare of that ice cream was sending negative signals to the brain. Hey, if the flavor were perfect though, I wouldn't care so much how it looked.

              1. re: Carb Lover

                But if you do need green food coloring, get the paste kind from a party or craft store. You only have to use a tiny bit (like dip a toothpick in it and use that much), and you can get really good color. And it lasts forever (maybe scary in itself). I feel like the liquid stuff adds too much liquid for the amount of color. I've never used the powder kind; it might be even better.

                I love the avocado bubble tea shakes, too, so definitely keep us posted.

                I wonder if ascorbic acid would help with the discoloration without adding too much to the flavor?

                1. re: Jess

                  Thanks, the Gourmet recipe did suggest a Vitamin C tablet. The more I think about it, the avocadoes didn't really discolor per se, but just lacked much color once diluted w/ dairy. I will look into the paste and powder...

                  1. re: Carb Lover

                    How about adding some matcha for the color? Might be interesting flavorwise, too.

            2. I think the avocado milkshakes made in Vietnamese restaurants are made with condensed milk...wonder if that would make any difference in ice-cream?

              1. This reminded me of when my mom used to freeze a mixture of avocados, milk and sugar. It had an icy rather than creamy texture, but good on a hot day, nonetheless. This post inspired me to make some. The kids loved it. My husband, however, prefers avocado as guacamole.

                1. I remember the Miami Herald had a recipe for avocado ice cream from Johnny V (one of my favorite chefs here). I've made it before, but not with hass avocados. The avocados in Florida seem to contain more water and less fat and are slightly sweeter tha hass, lending themselves to recipes like this. I remember the first time a Brazilian friend of mine poured sugar and lime on some smashed avocado (a hass) I almost vomitted. Now having gotten used to the FL mega-avocados, I can see actually see someone topping it with sugar.

                  Link: http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/...