I’ve never made ice cream at home before, but the thought of creating ice cream with tomatillo, the green-Mexican-husk tomato used to make salsa verde, intrigued me.
Would adding sugar and dairy give the tomatillo another way to thrive? Or would it be a premier example of savory and sweet gone horribly wrong?
Tomatillo ice cream proved to be a subtle, neutral sweetness. Once combined with the sugar/buttermilk/cream mixture, it actually tasted like a new variation of vanilla. The flavor of tomatillo was present, but neither in a foul or delicious way.
This happy little guy is just trying to fit in… and he does so deliciously. Photo by: rcstanley / Flickr.com
I knew I needed a vessel. Something that could carry the ice cream, literally and metaphorically, while providing a crunchy texture similar to a cone. There was an attempt at fried cinnamon taco shells, but that created a conundrum of delicately placing ice cream inside a small, delicate shell. So instead, I turned to a churro tostada — a small corn tortilla, fried and doused with cinnamon sugar.
The avocado buttercream was added as a direct response to the tomatillo’s subtlety. The fact that tomatillo ice cream was so surprisingly good, it made me want to push limits and find a way to include another Mexican savory staple. And lastly, the crumbled Mexican wafer.
I can’t eat ice cream or frozen yogurt without a candy topping.
Tomatillo Ice Cream (Makes 1 Pint or 16 oz)
Starting with the ice cream, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the tomatillos in a bowl and coat with 1/4 cup of sugar and the juice of 1 lime. Transfer to a baking dish and roast for 20 minutes until tender.
Cool for a couple minutes and then puree in your food processor. A strong blender may work as well. Use a 1/2 cup of the processed tomatillo for subtle taste, 3/4 a cup if you’re looking for more of a savory flavor.
Mix the cornstarch with a 1/2 cup of milk, thoroughly. Put the remainder of the milk with the sugar and heavy cream in a large saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 8 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the milk/starch mixture. Simmer for an additional 3 minutes. Combine the cream cheese and salt in a mixing bowl that can withstand heat. Slowly mix the hot milk/sugar mixture into the cream cheese and salt.
Then stir in the buttermilk and tomatillo puree. Cool the mixture with an once bath and transfer to the fridge. Chill the mixture for at least two hours and then churn the mixture (with crushed chocolate wafers!) in your ice cream maker. I then placed even more chocolate wafers on top.
For the churro tostada. Place your canolia oil in a frying pan. Place on high heat until boiling. Once boiling, move to medium heat. Carefully place a tortilla in the oil and allow 15 seconds per side. Tortilla should puff up. Repeat for as many tostadas as needed. Cover with cinnamon sugar.
For the avocado buttercream frosting, place the avocados, lemon juice and lemon extract in the processor and pulse (or stand mixer). Then slowly add the sifted powdered sugar until desired texture.