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5 Mouth-watering ice cream recipes using Maltese fruits

by Yellow

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Summer is the perfect time of the year to indulge in a refreshing ice cream every once in a while. But have you ever tried making your own ice cream instead of buying it? It's probably cheaper and easier than you'd expect! Not to mention that homemade ice cream is potentially a healthier option than the sugar-filled artificial treats you'd find in your local shop's freezer. And what's better than basing your ice cream recipes on Malta's fresh summer fruits? Have a look at these 5 simple and seasonal ice cream recipes that might also make you feel that little bit more patriotic than usual!

Peach Perfect

Once they've tried the first scoop, your family will be asking for this perfectly peachy dessert over and over again. The mixture has 6 ingredients that don't even need cooking - just stirring.

Ingredients: 8 small ripe peaches (peeled and diced), 1 cup of sugar, 1 can of evaporated milk, 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 1 package of vanilla instant pudding mix and 4 cups of 'half and half' milk (half heavy cream, half whole milk).

  1. Combine the peaches and the sugar, let the mixture stand for 1 hour
  2. Process this peach mixture in a food processor until smooth
  3. In a separate large bowl, mix the evaporated milk and the pudding mix
  4. Also stir in the peach puree mixture, the condensed milk and the 'half and half' milk
  5. Pour the mixture into a freezer container, and freeze until firm

Watermelon Wonder

Who doesn't love a refreshing slice of watermelon during the summer months? Watermelons are a must in many Maltese households as a delicious treat to beat the heat. They're also a favourite with children and other picky eaters. So imagine experiencing them in the form of fresh and fruity ice cream!

Ingredients: 1/2 cup of freshly juiced watermelon, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 cup of whole milk, 1 cup of cream (can be substituted for another cup of whole milk) and 1/4 cup of honey.

  1. Scoop out chunks of watermelon and juice them in a juicer until you have 1/2 cup of juice
  2. Pour the juice into a blender, adding the vanilla extract, the milk, the cream and the honey
  3. Blend until smooth and combined, but not for too long so as to avoid having a lot of air in the mixture
  4. Pour the mixture into a freezer container, and freeze until firm

Prickly Pear Paradise

Traditionally, ice cream with cinnamon was served in Malta during weddings and religious celebrations. This recipe is an original twist on the classic one, using the locally beloved prickly pear to create ice cream with a very unique taste. If you aren't the experimental type, you can leave out the prickly pear and serve the standard traditional Maltese ice cream.

Ingredients: 10 peeled prickly pears, 1 tin of chilled evaporated milk, 600ml of double cream and 1 tablespoon of caster sugar. For the syrup, you will also need: 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence.

  1. Start with the syrup - blend the prickly pears and strain the juice, you should have about 350ml of prickly pear juice
  2. In a small pot on medium heat add the cinnamon and vanilla essence
  3. Add the prickly pear juice to the mix and bring to a boil, then reduce immediately to medium heat and leave for 20 minutes
  4. Once that time passes, place the mixture in the fridge for about 1 hour
  5. In a separate large bowl, mix the milk and cream until thick to make plain ice cream, and then place it a container and freeze for 1 hour
  6. After that 1 hour, gently mix the prickly pear syrup into the ice cream, and leave the ice cream to freeze overnight before serving

Posh Pomegranate

This recipe is definitely a vibrant feast for your tastebuds! The rich flavour of pomegranates comes out beautifully when turned into ice cream, resulting in a deep and winey taste with cranberry and cherry-like undertones. It's not the easiest kind of ice cream to make, but the satisfaction that comes with successfully making it is worth the effort.

Ingredients: 3 large pomegranates, 1/2 cup of sour cream, 1/2 cup of 'half and half' milk, 1 cup of cream, 2 tablespoons of orange liqueur and 3/4 cup of sugar.

  1. Dislodge the seeds from the pomegranates - do this by filling a large bowl with water, holding the pomegranates under the water, breaking them apart in sections, and finally using your fingers to dislodge the seeds
  2. Pour the seeds into a colander to drain, after which you should have around 4 cups full
  3. Scoop the seeds into a food processor and pulse to create a coarse puree, which will also separate the white seeds from the pulp
  4. Press the mixture through a strainer to extract as much liquid as possible, which should leave you with around 1.5 cups of pomegranate juice
  5. Pour the juice into a small saucepan, set over medium-high heat and boil, stirring frequently for about 8 minutes, and leave to cool
  6. In a large separate bowl whisk the sour cream until smooth, then whisk in the cooled pomegranate juice and all the remaining ingredients
  7. Pour the mixture into a freezer container, and freeze until firm

Soothing Lemon Sorbet

As family gatherings and barbecues start taking over your summer schedule, you will probably be eating more than you should. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't let your guests (and yourself) enjoy some comforting dessert. A cold lemon sorbet is the perfect conclusion to any heavy meal.

Ingredients: juice of 2-3 lemons, 250g of white caster sugar, a thick strip of lemon peel and the zest of half a lemon to serve.

  1. Heat 250ml of water with the sugar and the lemon peel in a small pan until the sugar is dissolved, and then bring the mixture to a boil
  2. Cook the sugar mixture for 3 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave to cool
  3. Pick out the lemon peel and discard it, and add 100ml of the lemon juice to the sugar mixture
  4. Pour the mixture into a freezer container, and freeze for 1.5 hours
  5. Mix up the frozen mixture with a whisk to break it up, before returning it to the freezer
  6. Keep mixing the sorbet once every hour for 4 hours, and stop mixing when the sorbet is firm but still scoopable
  7. Store the sorbet in the freezer for up to 1 month, and decorate served scoops with a few curls of lemon zest

 Buying locally grown fruit has countless benefits. Not only does Maltese fruit have more flavour and nutrients, it also benefits the environment and supports local farmers. So whether you're making smoothies, ice creams or just snacking on fruit as part of your 5-a-day, staying local is surely the fruitful way to go. Ready to try out one of these divine ice cream recipes for yourself? In that case, you'll definitely need to stock up on some fresh local produce.
From peaches to prickly pears, you can find all the fruit you need for your ice cream-making endeavours from the 
182 Fruit & Vegetable Markets listed on yellow.com.mt.
There really is something for everyone, visit yellow.com.mt.

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