Roasted Black Plum Balsamic Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart | Start to finish: about 1 hour, plus freezing time
Egg-free ice cream is a traditional American-style method that is less complex to make than custard-based ice cream, especially since you don’t have to worry about properly tempering eggs to prevent curdling. Black plums have a purple exterior and red flesh that gives the ice cream this beautiful purple hue. Roasting intensifies the plum flavor and the balsamic vinegar balances the sweetness with a hint of acidity. A couple tablespoons of vodka will keep the ice cream from freezing rock solid and give it a softer texture. Look for local plums at the peak of the season for the best results.
1 1/2 pounds ripe black plums, halved and pitted
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/3 cups cane sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons vodka (optional)
Heat oven to 425°F
Place the plums in a baking dish, cut side up. Roast for 20–25 minutes, or until the plums are soft and jammy. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.
While the plums are roasting, prepare the cream mixture. Put the cream, milk, and sugar in a saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cool for 15 minutes.
Transfer half of the roasted plums to a blender with half of the cream mixture and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Blend the remaining roasted plums with the remaining cream until smooth. Add to the same bowl. Stir in the balsamic vinegar. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, stir the vodka into the plum/cream mixture. Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s directions. The mixture will not freeze completely hard in the machine. The ice cream is ready to freeze once it has doubled in volume and reached a thick soft-serve consistency. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze until solid before serving.