Apricot Ice Cream

This old-fashioned recipe is worth the extra work.
Apricot ice cream (Photo: Miriam Kresh)

I guess I’ll always love Elizabeth David’s cookbooks. Her “Summer Cooking” has this recipe for apricot ice cream – so simple and delicious, I’m kicking myself for apricot seasons past that I didn’t make it. And it doesn’t have much sugar, so you must reject any fruit that’s green or seems sour – cut a piece off to taste if necessary.

Unlike other ice creams I’ve made by hand, this was soft enough to serve right out of the freezer. I went to the trouble of forcing the cooked apricots through a sieve, just to fall in line with Ms. David’s directions. Although, who knows? Maybe Ms. David would have become scornful, if blending gives the same results with almost no work. The lady had a famously sharp tongue.

Ms. David wrote for her times, when, for example, heating the flour briefly before baking made sense for the British housewife in the chilly kitchens of the 1950s and 60s. Catch me heating flour in my Israeli kitchen. But this business of sieving the apricots, it caught my imagination. Not, let me hasten to add, that I don’t appreciate modern appliances. Just, once in a while, I’m willing to do a little extra, to feel in touch with the past.

The purée that resulted from sieving was as smooth as baby food. Would my stick blender have done that? Well, I thought as I pushed apricot mass through the wire net and scraped it off the other side, Elizabeth David wouldn’t have imagined me thinking of her in Israel in modern times. But sometimes, and especially when cooking something entirely delicious like this ice cream, I do.

Apricot Ice Cream Recipe

Prep30 minutes
Cook Time3 hours


  • 1 lb fresh apricots
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup combined cooking juices and water


  • Pit the apricots.
  • Cook over medium heat, in a little water, covered, until mushy.
  • Drain them carefully, reserving the cooking juice.
  • Either blend them or force them through a sieve.
  • Measure the cooking juices, adding water to make 2/3 cup if needed. Make a syrup of this liquid and the sugar, cooking them over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  • When the apricots are cool, add the syrup and mix well (or blend).
  • Whip the cream and stir it into the apricot mix.
  • Pour into a container and freeze until semi-solid – a couple of hours.
  • Stir, pushing the more solid parts from the sides towards the center. Mix well.
  • Cover again, and freeze until hard. Serve.

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