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Ice Cream Sunday

May 3, 2009

So after our carnitas last week, kick started by the 90 degree weather, my mind immediately shifted into make-my-own-ice-cream mode and we broke out the Cuisinart for the season. I had meant to post about this earlier than today, but there was a little voice in my head holding me back. Because, you see, the first ice cream flavor we made — while it was a great end to a meal of tacos and sangria and Mexican flavors — was something I found after a few days I just couldn’t really eat anymore. So I have two ice cream flavors for you today, one to make up for the slightly lackluster results of the first.

Let’s get right down to it: what was the first flavor that I was so excited about as a finish to our carnitas? Avocado.





It’s not that the flavors weren’t good together — avocado blended with sour cream, heavy cream, sugar and lime juice do taste great together — and I certainly did really like it the first day I ate it. But as the days went on, I just found it was just super, super rich, almost buttery (yes, Amy, that’s what 3 avocados + sour cream + heavy cream will do) and I could only eat a little tiny scoop at a time, then just got kind of sick of it. So, while I think it would be a fun flavor to make for something like a taco or Cinco de Mayo party, where everyone could try a small scoop, it’s probably just not a flavor you want to load up a big bowl with (warning: the amount in bowl in the above picture is too much. You can try it, but you might be sorry.)

like avocado ice cream icebergs


This left me feeling a little bit empty and unsatisfied inside. I needed an outstanding ice cream to balance out my ambivalence on the avocado attempt. As luck would have it, I was recently tweeting with Dave about homemade ice cream and he raved about Deb’s buttermilk ice cream…which I also happened to have at the top of my list to try! Buttermilk it was, and oh, let me tell you — you will NOT be sorry if you make this ice cream. This is, hands down, one of the very best homemade ice creams I’ve ever made. Italics fail to describe how wonderful it is.

helloooooo, there!


Now, I’ve never been one to down a big glass of buttermilk like some people do, but I do love the tang it gives to baked goods. And for those of you who are worried this ice cream might be like a cold version of a straight glass of buttermilk, let me reassure you: it’s the perfect balance of super-high-quality vanilla bean ice cream with just a little subtle tang underneath…it’s outstanding. Almost tastes like a kissing cousin of cheesecake, and it would be fantastic as a stand-in for vanilla bean ice cream on fruit crisps and cobblers and pies this summer (in fact, I’m already planning to keep a quart of it in my freezer all summer for just this purpose.) Can I gush anymore about it? Oh, you can use anywhere from 6 to 12 egg yolks, which turn it a beautiful golden color (especially if you use eggs from pastured hens, where the yolks are vibrantly yellow-orange) and give it a smooth, custardy, rich flavor. It scoops beautifully (that’s all the eggs talking!)

Okay. Gushing done, let the pictures commence.

6 egg yolks, awaiting their delicious destiny


cook the custard until it coats the back of a spoon


stir the buttermilk into the custard mixture


churn, churn, churn


so, so tasty


Just to push it over the top, we had scoops of it nestled into profiteroles, served with blueberry sauce…delicious!!

a little something special

Avocado Ice Cream

From The Perfect Scoop

view printable recipe

3 large avocados, pitted and flesh cut into chunks
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Big pinch of salt


Puree the avocado chunks, sour cream, heavy cream, sugar and lime juice in a blender until smooth. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions.

Makes about 1 quart.

Buttermilk Ice Cream

Adapted from The Last Course via Smitten Kitchen

view printable recipe

2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups sugar
6 to 12 large egg yolks (I used 6)
2 cups buttermilk
pinch of salt
1/2 a vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon good-quality vanilla extract


Bring the cream and 1 cup of the sugar to a simmer in a heavy saucepan over medium heat (if you’re using the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the cream while it heats as well.)

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg  yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.

After the cream comes to a simmer, turn off the heat and dribble a small amount into the egg yolks, whisking them constantly, to temper. Continue slowly adding the hot cream mixture to the egg mixture, whisking all the while. Once everything is incorporated, return the mixture to the saucepan where you heated the cream.

Cook over medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain into a bowl and mix in the 2 cups of buttermilk (and the vanilla extract if you are using that instead of the vanilla bean.) Cool this mixture completely, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Makes about 2 quarts.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. May 3, 2009 3:01 pm

    An ice cream maker is a perfectly acceptable thing to ask for as a law school graduate gift right? Right? 🙂
    I bet I would LOVE the buttermilk version. You really can’t go wrong with a stepped up vanilla ice cream.

  2. May 3, 2009 3:26 pm

    Oh, *perfectly* reasonable, Whitney! Better start dropping hints… 😉

  3. May 3, 2009 4:17 pm

    Both ice creams look pretty good in their own way. I love the colour and texture of that avocado, and I think it would be a really interesting finish to a Mexican themed meal.

  4. May 3, 2009 5:42 pm

    Beautiful as always, Amy. We just used up the last of our Buttermilk ice cream and we’ll definitely be making more because it pairs so well with summer desserts, or even on weekend brunch pancakes! Those profiteroles are a brilliant idea, and we’ll definitely be looking for great eggs to use in our next batch!

  5. May 3, 2009 6:51 pm

    I have a friend that’s offered me his insulated ice cream bowl for the KitchenAid, I might have to borrow it for that buttermilk ice cream recipe. As for the avocado ice cream — I have a recipe for avocado pie that uses sweetened condensed milk. I haven’t made it in years. You have inspired me to try it again.

  6. May 3, 2009 8:02 pm

    I saw you Tweet about this and was just waiting… and now I really want an ice cream maker. Jeebus.

    The avocado one is seriously intriguing to me though. I’ve never even heard of making ice cream like that. And it does look like an avocado ice cream glacier hehe.

  7. Sparkle Girl permalink
    May 3, 2009 8:31 pm

    Ok, this is going too far! Ice cream is not something I crave at all…I can usually walk right by. However, the Buttermilk recipe now has me contemplating purchasing an ice cream maker just so I can make this recipe!! (Not that my guy would mind)

    Your blog is SOOO good! I love what you cook and that you use fresh ingredients. That’s what our bodies naturally crave!

  8. May 3, 2009 10:14 pm

    Avocado used as a dessert item is pretty common here (Manila), but I’ve never tried the commercially available ones, which are probably low on dairy but high on sugar 🙂 I do love the silky texture as it’s churning.
    Too bad buttermilk isn’t readily available here, though. It does sound delicious!

  9. May 4, 2009 5:15 am

    Your avocado ice cream looks incredible and I love anything buttermilk! My favorite is avocado milkshakes which I get when I go for Vietnemese food.

  10. May 4, 2009 6:26 am

    Love the green avocado ice cream – totally funky. All the buttermilk batch needs is a bit of bacon sprinkled over top and a side of cornbread – yum!
    Happy to here the ice cream machine is churning again – can’t wait to see more recipes!!

  11. May 4, 2009 10:18 am

    Oh my god, Amy; I have been eating sooo much avocado lately! This is dangerous. 😉


  12. May 5, 2009 10:52 am

    First of all, those profiteroles look FABULOUS. I’m a huge fan of them. And buttermilk ice cream sounds tangy and delicious. However, you have me totally stuck on trying the avocado ice cream. I hear you with the ‘too rich’ thing. I’m sure I would only want this around for a day or so, BUT I totally do want to try it. I bet it would pair nicely with a tart sorbet of sorts to balance out the flavor. Like a pomegranate sorbet maybe? Looks delicious! So glad the cuisinart is out for the season 🙂

  13. May 5, 2009 4:30 pm

    wow… that avocado ice cream looks so delicious but I just can’t even imagine what it would taste like! I definitely want to try the buttermilk ice cream- it makes my mouth water just looking at the photo!

    Love your blog!

  14. May 7, 2009 10:06 pm

    avocado ice cream??? must try 🙂

  15. Katie permalink
    May 8, 2009 8:40 am

    I made the buttermilk ice cream last night, with six eggs. It turned out great! I highly recommend. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. May 9, 2009 4:12 am

    I love the third photo and am hard pressed not to go skinny dipping in it. 🙂 Wish I was around to try your gorgeous ice cream!

  17. LoveAndSqualor permalink
    July 4, 2011 9:01 pm

    I’ve had the buttermilk ice cream recipe bookmarked for ages and three days of 100+ degree weather in a row finally pushed me to give it a try. It’s delicious! I used half & half, because the store was out of heavy cream, but it is beautifully creamy nonetheless. I used the leftover egg whites to make an angelfood cake and will be eating the two together topped with some type of fresh fruit for dessert tonight.

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