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July’s End Dinner Party, Part the first

1.August 2009

Whenever I’m invited to dinner, I ask, “What can I bring?” like a dutiful guest. I then proceed to forget about it until the day of and then go way, way overboard. This time, I was asked to bring “something to drink or something nibbly.” “Okay,” I thought to myself, “I’ll figure something out.”

I decided yesterday to go way overboard.

It’s important that you know that I have a passionate love of gelato. And avocados. Maybe, in fact, it’s a thing for all food-stuffs ending in -o. In any case, when I saw this recipe for Avocado Gelato, I was intrigued. I set out to the grocery to procure missing ingredients (avocados, corn starch) and on the way decided that a pure avocado flavor might be good, but wouldn’t it be better with a little something to jazz up/brighten up the flavor and make it a little sunnier? So, I got to thinking about other O-ending foodstuffs and landed on mojitos, which also make me very, very happy. I concluded that I would make Avocado Mojito Gelato. (I’m also of the opinion that an Avocado Mojito – in beverage form – is a very good idea.)

The result was, perhaps, my best kitchen effort yet and, perhaps, the cooking product of which, to date, I am most proud. At the dinner party for which I whipped up this gelato, we served it in green teacups with a sprinkle of fresh blueberries, which added a lovely tang. It could also be served with a sprig of mint as garnish or with a dash of rum over top, for that mojito experience.

Here’s what I did.

Avocado Mojito Gelato

Ingredients

  • 2 c Whole Milk
  • 3/4 c Sugar
  • zest of (approximately) half a lime – in strips
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 2 ripe avocados (approximately 1 pound)
  • 1 vitamin C tablet, crushed to powder (I used 1000 mg, but less would probably work just as well)
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • generous handful of fresh mint leaves
  • pinch salt
  1. Combine sugar and mint leaves in a food processor. Process until mixture is homogeneous and pieces of mint are very small.
  2. Bring 1 3/4 c milk, 1/2 c of the sugar/mint mixture, lime zest, and salt to a simmer in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 1/4 c milk and 2 T cornstarch until smooth. Once combined, stir this mixture into the simmering milk, whisking continually.
  4. Bring to a boil (while whisking) and boil for one minute.
  5. Transfer the hot milk mixture into a metal bowl and place that bowl into another bowl filled with ice and cold water. Let the mixture cool completely and mix frequently.
  6. Meanwhile, quarter, pit, and peel avocado. Place in food processor with the remaining mint sugar, juice of 1/2 lime and the crushed vitamin C tablet. Puree until smooth.
  7. Add cooled milk mixture and puree until smooth.
  8. Freeze avocado mixture in an ice cream maker. Transfer to airtight container and freeze until hard (1+ hour).

My gelato took a quite a while to freeze and after the subway trip to the dinner party, was a little runny, but set up again quite nicely upon being put in the freezer there. It’s a pretty low maintenance gelato, so don’t worry. The beauty of this recipe is that the avocado is creamy and rich enough that you can skip the heavy cream and eggs that would be necessary to get that texture otherwise. And anyway, avocado fat isn’t bad for you. The vitamin C tablet is necessary, according to the recipe I adapted, to keep the avocado’s color. The lime would proably take care of this on its own, but who wants to run the risk of producing brown Avocado (Mojito) Gelato? Not me.

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