Saturday, June 14, 2014

Plum granita & plum-ginger-honey ice cream

With my plum tree's explosion still in full effect, I had to do something quick to use up the fruit. This time, I picked two recipes from the web, each of which uses 2 pounds of plums:
I modified both recipes:
  • Halved the ginger because I got tired of grating ginger, and I worried—unnecessarily, as it turned out—that it would overpower the other flavors.
  • Omitted the water from the granita because the plums were so darned juicy.
  • Reduced the sugar because the plums were so sweet, and because I didn't add water to the granita. I halved the sugar in the granita and used the lower amount of honey in the ice cream.
  • Quartered (or so) the vanilla in the granita because the plums had so much flavor.
  • Omitted the salt because I'm on a reduced-sodium diet.
  • Halved the brandy in the ice cream because I didn't want it to taste alcoholic.
Of the two, I like the granita best. Strike that—I love the granita. It's great tasting and a crazy, electric red color. Plus the process of freezing the granita is fun in a low-tech way. 

The brightly colored plum skins make the juice neon red.

I'm less sure about the ice cream. At first, I worried that it would be inedible, since the ginger tasted way too raw and strong at first. However, the ginger flavor mellowed as the mix chilled, and I couldn't even taste the ginger in the final product.

Roasting the plums was just kind of funny (for me) and frustrating (for my husband) because I outsourced the plum prep to my husband. Even though I tried to give him the firmest plums, he was cursing all through the process of trying to cut the plums in half and separate out the pits.

The plums, post roast.

Another problem ingredient was the honey. It overwhelmed all the other flavors, probably because I picked a dark, intense honey rather than a lighter, milder honey. However, the honey did give the ice cream a fantastic texture and an interesting taste (if you're into honey).

I used the dark honey on the left.
I probably should've used the light honey on the right.

And then there was the Sriracha. Just as I put the mixture in the fridge to chill, a bottle of Sriracha took a header and pierced through the plastic wrap. None of the hot sauce appeared to get out, though; at least, when I took a spoon to the landing site, I had no "you've got chocolate in my peanut butter" revelation.

The resulting mixture took a little longer than usual to churn, but it ended up with a very nice texture and a good flavor (if light on ginger and heavy on honey).

I probably won't make the ice cream recipe again, but I might well try other honey recipes. I'll probably try roasting fruit again, but only if it isn't too juicy. Also, I'll keep in mind that ginger mellows with cooking and sitting time. Lots of lessons learned this time!

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