I was introduced to fruit leathers on my trip to Georgia last September. There were stalls in the marketplace that specialized in this with sheets of dried berries, plums, grapes, kiwi and apricot. These sticky sheets are bright and full of flavour and begging to be bought. Reading about these more I discovered that they are made in Turkey in the West all the way to some Baltic states in the East, and are core to the cuisine in the region. Traditionally they were a way for the locals to preserve fruit for the winter months, but they have also found their way into dishes like this ice cream.
This ice cream is quite unique, and it took my brain a few bites to understand the complex flavours. The apricots add a fruit-forward flavour, the cardamom has a nice round spice and the thick ice cream is creamy. The flavours are delicate and soft ones that make our palate happy. I served it with additional pieces of fruit leather and some fresh apricot for some fresh contrast.
This is one of the earlier cookbooks from a husband and wife team of culinary explorers. They have been pivotal in moulding Australian and world cuisine. I absolutely adore all of the cookbooks that I have been able to get my hands on (some are impossible to find), they are not just a collection of recipes, but a history of the cuisine and the people. This is a set of cookbooks I highly recommend for everyone, chefs and home cooks alike.
For more recipes from this amazing cookbook, click here.
Thank you Julie Katgi for the amazing photograph.
1 cup sherry wine
1 cup water
1 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
1 lb apricot leather, snipped into bits
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light honey
A few drops of vanilla essence
2 cups cream
6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
Start by adding the sherry, water, cardamom and apricot leather to a small pot and heating up. The apricot leather will dissolve and the mix will turn into a thick sticky sauce. Once the sheets have completely melted, take off the heat and set aside. Do not overcook the sauce as the apricots will darken.
Add the water, sugar, honey, vanilla and cream to a second pot and heat on a low flame. Once the mix is warm, add the egg yolks to the milk in a thin stream continually whisking the mix. Continue to whisk the mix and cook on low heat till you have a custard, about 5 minutes. The custard should coat a spoon evenly. Do not boil or you will split the mix.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and cool. Mix in the apricot sauce and taste for sugar.
Churn in an ice cream maker as per the manufacturer's instructions, on the ice cream setting of the machine. Or freeze in the freezer.
Serve topped with fresh apricots and some bits of fruit leather.