No Churn Caramelized Apricot and Lavender Ice Cream
A sweet treat that you just can’t get enough of featuring caramelized local apricots and lavender. Most definitely a match made in heaven - a pleasant and surprising one and one my family couldn’t get enough of. I definitely didn’t peg them for lavender infused sweet treat lovers but I was proved wrong. There is more then a hint of lavender in this ice cream but it’s definitely not overpowering. Its one of those ice-cream flavours that you keep going back into the freezer for more.
Apricots are naturally sweet with a faint tartness that works well in this ice cream which is rich, creamy and sweet. Caramelizing them intensifies their sweetness and flavour and softens them so they get evenly swirled into the ice cream. Cutting them into small pieces also helps this happen but also prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the ice cream.
Substitutions for no churm ice cream
The hazelnuts add a nice crunch and nuttiness to the ice cream. I can’t resist a bit of crunch in my ice cream. If you are allergic or just not a fan - just leave them out or substitute them with another toasted nut or seed you love. When it comes to the lavender, you can take it or leave it as well. I love lavender and I pair it with many different fruits but you can leave it out or substitute it with another flavouring. Apricots go really well with warm spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and cardamom. Just like peaches they also go well with thyme or rosemary. So you have some options if you want to spice them up a bit by means of freshly grated spices or fresh herbs. Just go easy with the fresh herbs if using because they can be overpowering.
Fresh apricots can be substituted with pretty much any stone fruit or any fruit for that matter and you can even use frozen fruit too. If you use frozen expect that it will take an extra minute or two to get jammy when caramelizing. Brown sugar can also be substituted with maple syrup or honey too, adding another layer of flavour to your ice cream. What cannot be substituted is the heavy whipping cream or the condensed milk - they are essential to no churn ice cream.
There’s a science behind keeping this no-churn ice cream fluffy and smooth without having to churn and that depends on the high fat content of the heavy whipping cream and the high sugar content of the sweetened condensed milk. Without these two elements, it will not work. I have been told you can yield great results with coconut condescend milk and coconut whip but I can’t say for myself cause I haven’t tried a dairy free version. If you have and it worked let me know. Because it’s a no churn ice cream - the method also depends on keeping the whip inflated. That being the case it’s important to gently fold in the condensed milk instead of just mixing it in vigorously. If you do that it will deflate the cream you will lose that airy creamy texture.
This flavour combo was inspired by Aimee Twigger. She featured a delicious galette with apricots and lavender and I knew I had to make that into an ice cream flavour. I’m so glad I did. Not having an ice cream maker doesn’t have to stop you from making your own ice cream - it’s easy and fun and you can play with loads of flavours. It’s the best thing to share and serve out on a hot day and even sweeter tasting when it’s homemade. Stay cool and enjoy!
Servings: Serves 6-8
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Freezing Time: 8 hrs
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 cups apricots pitted and chopped into small pieces
- 2 tbsp food grade lavender buds
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup of roasted and chopped hazelnuts (optional)
- Place the butter, chopped apricots and lavender into a skillet and sauté over medium-low for about 3-5minutes, or until the apricots have softened.
- Add the brown sugar and sauté for about for another 2-5 minutes more, or until juices have reduced to a nice glaze. Set them aside to allow them to cool.
- Place the sweetened condensed milk into a medium bowl and stir in a pinch of salt.
- In a separate large bowl of a stand mixer, or using a regular mixer whip the heavy whipping cream to stiff peaks
- Add ½ cup of the whipped cream to the sweetened condensed milk. Fold the ingredients together to lighten up the sweetened condensed milk.
- Add the lightened sweetened condensed milk to the bowl with the whipped cream in three additions and gently fold them together.
- Pour the whipped ice cream mixture into a 2-quart, freezer safe container. I always use a bread pan. Pour half of the whipped mixture first, top with half of the lavender apricots and the chopped hazelnuts if using, then repeat.
- Use a thin spatula or knife to lightly swirl the lavender apricots into the whipped ice cream mixture. Do not over stir.
- Cover the dish with a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of foil and freeze the ice cream for 8 hours, or until solid, then serve.