Sunday, December 14, 2008

CSA week two overflow - black sapote colada sherbet

On second thought, maybe those sapotes are ready to be used after all.

As I mentioned a week ago, my plan for any tropical fruit we get this year is to substitute it into my unexpectedly fabulous piña colada sherbet recipe for either the bananas or the pineapple depending on the texture and see how it turns out. Last July I subbed in mango for the bananas which worked quite well but I haven't gotten back to the idea until now.

I'm taking out the bananas again this time which gives me some concern over texture as bananas are rather special in that regard. But if anything can replace that thick fat-mimicking creaminess is sapote. That makes my ingredient list:
1 large and 1 small black sapote
1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple
2 Tablespoons or so pineapple juice from the container I was keeping the pineapple pieces in
1 cup thick coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon light rum
1 Tablespoon dutch process cocoa

The challenge each time I do this is picking the complementary flavors that will bring out the flavor of the guest fruit. In the original I used lime juice and hot sauce. For the mango, lime juice again along with ginger, cinnamon and allspice. This time the obvious choice is to nix the lime and add cocoa. I'll have to do some research to figure out the best choices when canistels and caiminos come along.

No cooking required here so I just tossed everything into the blender and let it spin. The result is, texturally and visually, indistinguishable from chocolate pudding and not far off in flavor either. An ice cream churn is entirely optional; you could serve this as is.

You could, anyway; I've got a bad churining habit to maintain. So I let the mixture cool for eight hours in the back of the fridge and then gave it a turn in the ice cream machine. After 25 minutes it wasn't really solidifying but it was getting lumpy and the bucket was running out of freeze so decided that was good enough and I put it into the freezer to ripen.

And the next day I scooped some out and gave it a try:

It has the mouth feel of premium ice cream without a hint of ice crystals, gumminess, insta-melt or the other ills sherbet is prone to proving again that bananas aren't as special as Alton Brown makes them out to be.

The flavors are muted at freezer temperatures but a couple minutes of warming brings them out intensely with not-quite-chocolate and pineapple at the front fading to a lingering not-quite-chocolate/coconut. The cocoa did a good job highlighting the chocolate-esque notes in the black sapote but it's still clearly cocoa plus tropical fruits. It's an interestingly unusual but quite pleasant combination. Actually, around here it's not so unusual; all the local confectioners use tropical fruits in their chocolates. It is unusual that I like it though. Let's see what my co-workers think.


kat said...

This is making me want to unwrap that ice cream maker under the tree right now

billjac said...

If it helps, most likely there isn't a black sapote within a thousand mile of you.

Daniel said...

This looks really yummy. I wonder if you could use the same components to make a pudding, and leave out the coconut milk (using gelatin to thicken it?) Trying to think how to use the last two black sapotes with what's on hand...I made a great breakfast bread out of the first two. You're right on with the flavor, it's somehow not at all bizarre to have this tropical chocolate flavor blend.

billjac said...

You could substitute in yogurt for the coconut milk; the tanginess would match well with the other flavors. Just plain milk or cream would work, but you'd want to add some vanilla to replace the flavor you've lost. Maybe even soft tofu?

I think the texture would be fine with yogurt or cream, but some thickener would probably help if you used milk.