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Soursop Ice Cream [BVI Food Recipe]

I’m breaking some self-imposed rules this month. First off, my provisioning articles usually feature boat-friendly recipes. However, this month’s topic is more appropriate for those with land-based kitchens—or  with very generous galleys.  Secondly, I typically have a rule against single purpose appliances, but I bend the rules when it comes to ice cream—which requires an ice cream maker—because I love this quintessential summer treat too much to forego homemade versions.

I briefly contemplated having an ice cream maker on my boat. A dear friend of mine cruised the Caribbean with a gentleman who owned a hand crank ice cream maker, apparently designed for boats. After my friend’s adventures, the device was relegated to a dusty corner of her Tortolan garage. When she learned I was setting out for my own down-island sailing adventures, my friend graciously offered me the ice cream maker. I was tempted, but a quick mental calculation of my galley real estate indicated I’d have to make significant sacrifices—perhaps a few bottles of rum or my bin of baking supplies—for an occasional taste of fresh ice cream.

Now that I’m back on land, my somewhat bulky ice cream maker is again in my kitchen.

While there can be a certain old-school charm to manual contraptions, the reality of ice, salt and hand-churning ice cream is not so appealing. (Plus, if you’re on a sailboat you already do plenty of cranking by hand; it’s just called winching.) My trusty electric Cusinart lets me almost effortlessly create delicious cool treats, including ice cream, gelato, sorbet, sherbet and frozen custard.

A main motivation for homemade ice cream is an endless variety of flavours. Sure, I make chocolate, vanilla and other supermarket staples.  I also make strawberry-rhubarb, lemon-ginger and mango-passion fruit frozen desserts. Try finding those combinations in a supermarket freezer case! Ice creams are a wonderful way to showcase interesting and perhaps lesser-known Caribbean flavours, such as soursop (also called guanabana or graviola), a fruit found in BVI backyards. Its rough green skin is covered with soft thorns and its white flesh is filled with inedible black seeds. Fortunately, the flavour of soursop is far more pleasant than its name and appearance suggest. I detect hints of strawberry, passion fruit and pineapple—essentially a delectable fruit punch flavour. Juice and ice cream are two popular ways to use the fruit.

The best part about homemade ice cream is that it’s simply really fun to make and eat, especially for children. I have a two year old, and for the past couple of summers I’ve been too busy to bring out my ice cream maker. I’m now compensating for lost time, and little Elizabeth and I are having a blast making and especially taste testing ice cream.

I’ve obviously been churning out copious amounts of ice cream this summer, and must confess that this article is my attempt to (sort of) justify all the ice cream in my freezer. I’m certain I should have a rule against such a large quantity of ice cream in my house; however, as I enjoy my first cool and creamy bite of soursop ice cream, rules are the farthest thing from my mind.


Soursop Ice Cream

This ice cream is a simple, yet impressive end to any summer meal.

3/4 c white sugar

1 1/2 Tbl cornstarch

1 c whole milk

3/4 c whipping cream

1 1/4 c soursop pulp, thawed if frozen (e.g. Goya brand)

1 Tbl fresh lime juice

Combine sugar and cornstarch in heavy saucepan, then whisk in milk and cream. Continue to whisk over medium heat until mixture thickens and starts to bubble, about 10 minutes. Pour into bowl and refrigerate. When fully cooled, add sourpop pulp and lime juice to gelato base. Stir well and refrigerate for at least one hour. Pour mixture into bowl of an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and place in freezer to harden. Makes about four cups.

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