Apricots and peaches have yielded the stage to apples and pears, but I’m going to be eating Macs, Winesaps and Bosc til rhubarb season so I postpone the inevitable with the year’s final stone fruit: plums.
They’re abundant right now, from Italian prune varieties to sweet green gage (pick the soft ones) and I’m cooking them into everything from tarts to upside-down cake, both of which are great for breakfast now that swimsuit season is over. But the easiest way to enjoy plums is to freeze them, and I don’t mean by the bagful, to bake into winter crisps. I’m talking about ice cream. Now before you say it’s too late for ice cream, let me remind you that although I’m wearing a sweater as I type this, it’s technically still Summer. Fall doesn’t begin til September 22nd.
I love making ice cream but I’m too lazy to temper egg yolks. Luckily that’s not needed in this recipe, from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop. When Craig and I married our cookbook collection, Brady Bunch style, we must have had a dozen ice cream cookbooks between us, but this is the only one we bother with anymore. And speaking of our wedding five Septembers ago, I served this ice cream at the reception. You might say it sealed the deal.
Eat it now, in a knit hat, and pretend you’re not cold. Or churn it up and pop it in the freezer to serve friends at Christmas, when visions of sugarplums dance in their heads.
David Lebovitz’s Plum Ice Cream
Makes 1 Quart
1 pound plums (about 8)
⅓ cup water
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon kirsch (You can leave this out, but remember how alcohol doesn’t freeze? This is for texture. Magic.)
Halve and pit the plums, cut them into 8ths and put them in a medium saucepan with the water. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Let cool to room temperature.
Once cool, puree in a blender or food processor with the cream and kirsch until smooth. Chill thoroughly, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.