White Chocolate & Fresh Ginger Ice Cream Recipe with Nectarines and Cherries
If you’re anything like me, you’re thrilled when the season for summer fruits is in full swing. I like nothing better than returning from my market with a basket full of fresh peaches, nectarines, cherries, and whatever other fruits happen to look best that morning. And since I’ve started plying the Parisian vendors with brownies, I’m getting the much-desired VIP treatment at the market. It’s nice to know that Parisians can be bought for the price of a simple square of dark chocolate. (To be honest, so can I.)
If apricots are in season, you can substitute 6 to 8 fresh apricots for the nectarines, but be sure to use the larger amount of sugar since apricots get much more tart once they’re baked. They’ll also take less time to bake, too.
I know you’re going to ask about peaches but I find peaches soften too quickly and I prefer the tartness of nectarines. Plus nectarines don’t need to be peeled and hold their shape much better than peaches. If cherries are out of season where you live, you can add a basket of fresh raspberries or blackberries when you take the fruit out of the oven, allowing the residual heat help them meld into the compote.
Lastly, some readers have asked me about ice cream makers so I’ve posted some tips in this post – Buying an Ice Cream Maker, if you’re thinking of purchasing one. They’re not all that expensive (sometimes you can grab one for less than $50) and since I personally can’t imagine getting through the summer without homemade ice cream, you might think about getting one so you can churn up ice cream all summer long, as well as in the fall, winter and spring.
White Chocolate And Fresh Ginger Ice Cream with Nectarine and Cherry Compote
Is there anything better than warm fruit, slightly-sweetened, topped with a scoop of ice cream melting on top or alongside? The creamy-sweet taste of white chocolate pairs marvelously with the piquant bite of fresh ginger. Just enough to serve as a pleasant contrast.
White Chocolate and Fresh Ginger Ice Cream
About 1 quart (1 liter)
- 3-inch piece (2 to 2 1/2 ounces) fresh ginger, unpeeled
- 2/3 cup (130 g) sugar
- 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
- 1 cup plus 1 cup heavy cream (500 ml, total)
- 8 ounces (230 g) white chocolate, finely chopped
- 5 large egg yolks
1. Slice the ginger thinly, cover it with water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Drain away the water but return the blanched ginger to the pan. Add the sugar, the milk and 1 cup of heavy cream to the saucepan and re-warm the mixture. Cover and steep for at least an hour, or until you are satisfied with the ginger flavor.
2. Put the chopped white chocolate in a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, then gradually add some of the ginger-infused cream mixture, whisking constantly as you pour in the warm cream. Pour the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard into the white chocolate, and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Discard the ginger. Add the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream and chill thoroughly. You can set the bowl over an ice bath to speed it up.
5. Chill mixture thoroughly, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Nectarine and Cherry Compote
Four to Six Servings
I prefer my fruit less-sweetened, but you can add the larger amount of sugar if you like. If you don’t have a vanilla bean, just add a few drops of vanilla extract.
1 pound (450 g) fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
4 to 6 tablespoons light brown sugar
optional: 2 tablespoons rum or kirsch
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (190 C).
1. Split the nectarines in half and pluck out the pits. Put them in a 2-quart baking dish with the cherries. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the fruit.
2. Mix in the sugar and rum or kirsch, if using.
3. Turn the nectarines so they’re cut side down, arranging them in an even layer with the cherries and tuck the vanilla bean underneath.
4. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, opening the oven door twice during baking so you can jostle the baking dish to encourage the juices to flow. The fruit is done when a paring knife easily pierces the nectarines.
5. Remove from oven and serve warm, or at room temperature with a scoop of the White Chocolate and Fresh Ginger Ice Cream.
Storage: The compote can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.