I didn’t realize when I zeroed in on this recipe that it was yet another ice cream recipe with alcohol in it. Two weeks in a row of boozy ice cream, look out! My apologies. Sort of. I definitely can’t apologize for this ice cream though. Because it’s amazing. It’s certainly not your run-of-the-mill vanilla with mix-ins. Steeping the dried apricot in white wine adds such a tremendous depth of flavor that anyone who eats it will be all, “whoa! what is that that I taste?” I love, love, love the combination of dried fruit and nuts, most specifically dried apricots and pistachios. The flavors go so nicely together, and I immediately knew this ice cream would be a winner.
An added bonus of this recipe is that it doesn’t require the traditional egg yolk custard-making that most other ice cream recipes use. Instead, after the apricots steep in the wine, you just throw everything in the blender, give it a whirl, and then chill the mixture before running it through the ice cream maker. When you’re almost done churning you toss in the pistachios, and voila! One of the easiest ice cream recipes ever! I’ve noticed that some ice creams made without egg yolks can get hard in the freezer, and not have that velvety texture that makes homemade ice cream so luxurious, but the alcohol content from the wine keeps this ice cream from getting too cold, and helps maintain that nice soft texture.
1. In a small saucepan, warm the apricot pieces in the wine. Simmer for 5 minutes, cover, remove from the heat, and let stand for 1 hour.
2. Puree the apricot and wine mixture with the sugar, half-and-half, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth.
3. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. During the last few minutes of churning, add the chopped pistachio nuts.