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Nectarine-cardamom ice cream

Time 2 hours
Yields Serves 8
Nectarine-cardamom ice cream
(Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times)
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Nectarines and cardamom are sometimes paired in baked goods, but the effect seems completely different in an ice cream. The slightly astringent, slightly floral flavor of cardamom perfectly underlines that particular creamy tart note that separates nectarines from peaches. The ice cream has the clean, vibrant flavor of a sorbet and the luxurious texture of an ice cream. For the best texture, serve within 24 hours of churning.

From the story: Ripe for spice and ice

1

Pit and chop the nectarines. You should have about 4 cups. Place them in a bowl with the sugar and stir to combine. Set aside 30 minutes to macerate, stirring occasionally.

2

Lightly crush the cardamom pods with the base of a small saucepan or a rolling pin, just enough to expose the black seeds inside. Combine the cardamom, milk, cream and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, about 5 minutes. As soon as bubbles appear around the rim and a skin forms on top, remove from heat and cover. Set aside 30 minutes to steep.

3

Place the fruit in a blender and strain the cream mixture over the top, discarding the spices. Puree until smooth, about 2 minutes. Bits of peel will be visible. The mixture will be slightly thinner than a milkshake. Pour it into a bowl and chill 30 minutes.

4

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. The mixture will get to the texture of soft-serve ice cream. Spoon it into a container, cover and place in the freezer for another hour to ripen. Serve immediately. If the ice cream is left overnight, it may become icy, in which case you should allow it to warm slightly outside the freezer before serving.