Stone fruit and icecream are two of the greatest pleasures of summer. A combination of the two is ultimately tempting, as I’m sure Deeba of Passionate About Baking knows. Her fruity desserts are tempting anytime, but it’s her Roasted Peach and Plum Icecream that has had me drooling for months.
Hung yoghurt is another of Deeba’s specialities. With a bit of patience, a tea towel and a seive, you too can turn plain yoghurt into a thick and creamy base for icecreams and dips. A damp tea towel is best for draining off the whey, and if you place it in a sieve over a bowl you can leave it in the fridge overnight to work its magic. The fabric of the tea towel leaves a gorgeous pattern on the hung yoghurt when you unwrap the curd.
Roasting stonefruit is very rewarding, because unlike stewed fruit it never boils over. Halve the fruit first, then sprinkle it with brown sugar and pop it in the oven. The brown sugar will bubble up and turn into a caramelly liquid. The roasting smell is just heavenly, and the temptation to guzzle the fruit instead of turning it into icecream is very strong.
Pureeing the fruit is the only fiddly part of this process, because you really do need to strain it through a sieve to get rid of the pieces of skin. The icecream won’t be smooth if the fruit peel isn’t strained out. Aside from this step the method is remarkably straightforward, and it is wonderful to be able to make icecream without separating eggs for custard.
Roasted Peach, Nectarine and Apricot Icecream came first. In this case I included cream as well as yoghurt with the pureed fruit. The flavour of roasted stonefruit was fragrant and sweet – just peachy. The addition of cream made the mouthfeel a little fatty though, and I decided to make the next icecream a frozen yoghurt.
Roasted Plum Frozen Yoghurt was the next recipe. Made with yoghurt rather than cream, and with a less sweet fruit, the dessert was much tangier. The mouthfeel was perfect, so I will stick to yoghurt rather than cream in future. The colour from the plums was a simply gorgeous deep pink. I’ll be making frozen yoghurt again, and the only question in my mind is which fruit to roast next.
Roasted Stone Fruit Frozen Yoghurt or Icecream
6-8 pieces of stone fruit
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups hung yoghurt (or 1 cup yoghurt and 1 cup cream)
1/2-1 cup caster sugar
1. Set up your yoghurt to hang for a few hours or overnight in the fridge. Put 2 generous cups of plain yoghurt in a damp teatowel and sit it in a sieve over a bowl. Stand in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
2. Halve the stonefruit, sprinkle with brown sugar and roast at 180 degrees Celcius for 20-30 min until soft and fragrant.
3. When the fruit has cooled, puree it. Then push the puree through a sieve to get rid of any large pieces of peel that remain.
4. Combine the pureed fruit with the hung yoghurt curd and 1/2 cup of caster sugar. Taste the mixture at this stage, because the sweetness will need to be adjusted differently depending on how sweet your stonefruit was. For my peach mixture 1/2 cup of caster sugar was sufficient, but for the plums I needed almost 1 cup. You’re aiming for it to taste a bit sweeter than you’d want a smoothie to be, because once the dessert is frozen it will taste less sweet.
5. Freeze and churn the icecream. I chilled the mixture in the fridge, then added 850mL of it to my 1L icecream machine (I drank the leftovers). In the icecream machine churn for about 40 minutes (until soft serve consistency). Then it needs to firm up in the freezer. If you have patience and a strong arm you can do away with the machine. You put the mixture in the freezer in a shallow tray and give it a good beating every half hour to keep the crystals small.