Fruit Finds: Starfruit & Starfruit Ice cream

So this post has a few pics to go along with it, which can only mean one thing…we have real internet!!! Now that it doesn’t take twenty minutes for one photo to upload, I thought I’d go all out with, well, more than one photo.

While starfruit isn’t new to me–we saw plenty of it in Asia–the idea of it growing in my backyard is definitely a novelty! We live on a compound that contains a starfruit tree, mango trees and even a few lemongrass bushes. And with the beach just behind them, I’m in PAR-A-DISE, let me tell you.

So when I found myself with a dozen or so starfruit, I had to figure out a way to use them. A friend here had just made a passion fruit mousse, and I wondered if the starfruit would be an apt substitute and if the mousse could be transferred to the ice cream maker instead. This last part was particularly convenient since I somehow messed up the mixture so that it never firmed into a mousse. Fortunately it wasn’t an issue, for the ice cream maker covers a multitude of sins.

Starfruit TreeStarfruit

Starfruit has a very mild citrus flavor so it can easily be overshadowed by other flavor profiles. This recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk, and to counteract the sugary flavor I added a bit of nutmeg to help extract the delicate taste of the fruit, as well as toasted coconut for balance and richness. Starfruit can also be somewhat tart, especially when not fully yellow, so trim off any green parts before you eat them…

Trimming Starfruit

Slice the starfruit into 1/2 inch slices and throw them in a blender, then strain the juice through a sieve so you don’t have any skins or seeds in your juice. Or you can be a glutton for punishment like me and crank two dozen starfruit through a food mill. At least it provided ample time to catch up on my podcasts.

Food Mill
Getting an arm workout via the food mill

Because the starfruit is so light in flavor, I had to use a lot of starfruit juice…like a lot a lot. Which means the ice cream contains the enemy of all ice cream enemies–water. Fortunately the condensed milk helps keep it thick and creamy, but because of the water content, it’s best eaten within 1-2 days after preparation. This shouldn’t be a problem, as the final product is delectably rich and creamy, and you’ll likely find there’s none left after only a day or two.

Starfruit Icecream

Ease of Preparation: Easy (but you need an ice cream maker….GET IT! Just do it. Now. Right now.)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 14oz cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups starfruit juice (appx. 18-20 starfruit)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place shredded coconut flakes on cookie sheet until the flakes just begin to turn light brown, approximately five minutes. Set aside to cool.

Cut starfruit into 1/2 inch slices and place in blender. Blend until fruit becomes a pulp-like consistency. Place the pulp in a fine mesh sieve and strain into a bowl. Use the back of a wooden spoon to press down on the pulp to make sure you extract all the juice. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix together cream and condensed milk until well blended. Slowly whisk in starfruit juice and nutmeg. Add more nutmeg to taste if you think the starfruit flavor is not strong enough.

Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions for adding the mixture to the maker. (Note: depending on the size of your maker, you may have more mixture than is necessary. The remainder can be made into a smoothie or can be saved for later). Towards the end of the churning process, slowly add the coconut flakes. Place ice cream in an airtight container and store in the freezer. Best eaten within 1-2 days.

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