Butterscotch Smoked Almond, Raspberry Vanilla and Peach Basil… A Trio of Frozen Treats

Summers are always full of activity and hassle around here. I have been meaning to write about these ice creams and sorbets for days now, but something always seemed to come up. And aren’t summers about relaxing and not rushing anyway?

The oven has been turned off for the most part. This heat and humidity deserve nothing but a freezer full of frozen treats and that is what we have been up to. As I mentioned to you in my last post, I spent an entire day in the kitchen making ice cream and sorbet bases. This is when I wish I had a commercial grade ice cream maker or even better, a PacoJet.

There are very different palates in this household so when it’s time for ice cream, I must take into account everyone’s preferences. The fact that I cannot have any dairy at the moment, certainly limits my choices of ice cream. That is really not that big of a deal as I prefer fresh fruit sorbets in the summer when fruit is so luscious.

These peaches were super ripe and juicy. I love their color once they were blanched and peeled. So bright. I made a simple syrup flavored with some of my own thai basil and lemon thyme and then added the pureed fruit. Once frozen I served it with a little bit of raspberry syrup and fresh raspberries. Amazing.

When we move to C’s flavor territory, he wants chocolate, vanilla, nuts, caramel… All those flavors that I reserve for colder months. I had to grant his wish for ice cream sandwiches with gluten free fudge cookies and butterscotch and smoked almond ice cream. For a minute, I almost licked the spoon as I was making the butterscotch anglaise with all that muscovado and vanilla bean. Almost.

J. is always simple. Vanilla ice cream. Not many add-ons or texture contrast. He is a boy of simple needs, but I did sneak in some raspberries in there for these vanilla and raspberry swirl ice cream cones. The cones were also used as bribing mechanism to prolong a modeling shoot I had with miss D. She was a trooper, but once she was done with the ice cream, that was it. She was done, done.

Our sumer travels begin this week with our trip to Seattle where I will be visiting family, friends and teaching a small workshop. The class is full and I hope it doesn’t disappoint. I can’t wait to get there and smell the rugged Pacific NW sea. It has been too long.

Peach, Basil and Lemon Thyme Sorbet

600 grams fresh peach puree (from about 6-7 peaches)
150 ml water
150 grams sugar
Juice of half a lemon
1-2 Tbs fresh basil and lemon thyme leaves, to taste

Make a syrup with the water and the sugar by bringing them to a boil. When sugar dissolves, turn the heat off, add the herbs and let them steep in the syrup for a couple of minutes. Taste it to see the intensity you like. Strain the syrup and let it cool completely. Refrigerate for an hour or until chilled.

Blanch the peaches in boiling water for a few seconds to peel the skins. Shock them in ice water. The skin will come right off. Cut the flesh and puree it in the food processor. We want about 600 grams of puree.

Mix the peach puree with simple syrup and lemon juice. Churn in ice cream machine. Add a few leaves of lemon thyme at the end if you would like. Freeze.

Butterscotch and Smoked Almond Ice Cream

450 grams heavy cream
250 grams whole milk
1 vanilla bean, scraped and seeded
75 grams butter
150 grams muscovado sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 egg yolks
125 grams smoked almonds, coarsely chopped

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the muscovado. Don’t caramelize it or it will turn bitter, only melt them. Add the heavy cream, milk and salt and bring them to a boil.

Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and temper the liquid into them. Return the custard back to the pot and cook on low heat until it reaches 84C or 183F. Strain the custard through a fine sieve and chill it over an ice bath. When cooled, refrigerate the mixture overnight. Churn it in the ice cream machine and add the chopped smoked almonds at the end. Freeze.

Vanilla and Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream

500 grams whole milk
140 grams heavy cream
150 grams sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
6 egg yolks
175 grams raspberries
40 grams sugar

Place the whole milk, heavy cream, vanilla bean and half of the first amount of sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. In the meantime, whisk together the egg yolk and the other half of sugar in a medium bowl. Temper the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks while whisking. Return this to the pan and cook to 84C or 183F. Strain the ice cream base through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and chill over an ice bath. When cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

In the meantime, macerate the raspberries with the 40 grams of sugar (even mash them a bit) until sugar dissolves and juices come out.

Churn the vanilla ice cream base in the ice cream machine. When finished, add the raspberries, mix and transfer to a container and freeze.

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65 Responses to “Butterscotch Smoked Almond, Raspberry Vanilla and Peach Basil… A Trio of Frozen Treats”

  1. I can’t have dairy at any moment because of lactose intolerance, and these sorbets look like just the thing to cool me off!

  2. Mayssam says:

    Wow, Aran, the pictures are gorgeous! That butterscotch and smoked almond ice cream is making me want to get an ice cream machine! :)

  3. m says:

    You have so much self-control. I totally would’ve licked it! :D

  4. I love the smoked almond ice cream. I remember when I worked pantry for the Edith Cavell restaurant in Jasper, Alberta. We had a Pacojet, and it was completely divine. I wish I had a grand or so to throw into one of those as well.

  5. Amber Rose says:

    Omg, YUM, I die. This all looks amazing, and I’m totally bookmarking your blog. Have you ever seen Tartlette?

  6. ellie says:

    It’s Winter and quite cold here, but oh my gosh those cookies with icecream sure look super tasty. I’ll have to try them out once Summer rolls around in my part of the world.
    Yum yum

  7. So many ice cream flavors. I’m not even sure if I have a favorite-I like them all!

  8. kara lynn says:

    this fresh fruit sorbet looks absolutely delightful! i can’t stand it. that is my next task.

    btw-i love the suggested added herbs. i have a lemon verbena plant i think would work awesome!

  9. My husband is just crazy about raspberry ice cream, I have to make this for him! Yum!

  10. These pictures are stunning. I like the idea of putting fresh herbs in sorbet, it must be so refreshing. Also like the idea of adding smoked almonds in ice cream. What a great twist.

  11. Justin says:

    gorgeous photos, as usual. a pacojet would be awesome to have around.

  12. keiko says:

    Aran, we’re finally having a perfect ice cream weather here and I can’t wait to try all these flavours, they look amazing! I’ve never tasted smoked almonds and am intrigued, thank you for the inspiration as always! x

  13. I can’t WAIT for the peaches to get ripe here! My parents and aunt have peach trees and I can’t wait to make sorbet! Last year I did make a peach ice cream that was to die for.

  14. Your photo of the blanched peaches is beautiful – they look like they are made of blown glass. I have lemon thyme in my garden, so I am very excited to try this sorbet! Have you ever tried chocolate sorbet made with coconut milk? Creamy, almost like ice cream. I made it a few weeks ago. :)

  15. Shalet says:

    This is just beautiful! We are having peach ice milk and I can’t wait!

  16. These look amazing!

    I didn’t know you had family in Seattle – I wondered what was bringing you out (presumably not just the short workshop)… So looking forward to it!

  17. Absolutely love what I see! I just saw your gorgeous drink on designsponge and I can’t wait to pull out my secret stash of strawberries that I froze.

  18. Such fantastic flavors! You’re killing me!

  19. Oh, those are to die for! Delightful and so heavenly!



  20. The French says:

    Forget licking the spoon…I may lick the screen. Can’t wait to give these a try!

    Gorgeous photos:)

  21. jokemijn says:

    this is the best, my craving for icecream is no longer bearable, i shall have to go and look for a delicious one :)

  22. Michelle says:

    What a wonderfully sweet summer you’re having!

    I wanted to let you know, that if you ever get that Pacojet, I have a recipe for a dairy and soy-free, super-easy, absolutely delicious chocolate “sorbet” that has a texture akin to gelato. I’ve never tried it in a conventional ice cream machine, put after a quick Paco, it is divine.

  23. Deeba PAB says:

    Gorgeous, summery & full of life! What fun you stir up Aran! Wish I could attend one of your classes. You will NEVER disappoint. Never! Have a good trip!!

  24. Ebba says:

    Everything is just beautiful and looks soo tasty on pictures, I’ll try for sure the butterscoth and smoked almond icecream since I adore butterscoth and roasted almonds! :)
    cheers from Croatia

  25. it looks like delicious and very inspiring blog!
    thanks from spain!

  26. Three Owls says:

    Oh my… I am now utterly inspired to make ice creams…

  27. Bonnie says:

    I pray our weather holds for you! It seems summer decided to show up this week and I hope it sticks around for your entire visit. Have a great time in our corner of the country!

  28. These treats look so good and sound delicious. Enjoy your trip to Seattle. It’s one of my favorite cities to visit.

  29. Sanura says:

    As I’m reading your post, I’m waiting for my sorbets to cool down. There’s a Lime Basil with Coconut milk and
    a fruity Mango Raspberry that are chilling in the fridge. This time of year is absolutely beautiful for fruit.

  30. Blandine says:

    These ice creams really look delicious! I can’t wait to try making them, especially the peach, basil and lemon sorbet. yummmy!
    your pictures are gorgeous too!

  31. carrie says:

    It looks so fresh and yum. I love this idea. My favorite ice cream is pistachio. I have been playing around serving it in different ways including on homemade wafers that my mother always makes for tea.

  32. Sally says:

    Ooooooooooo eeeee these photos are so pretty!

    I want to make the swirl!!

  33. Seanna Lea says:

    I make enough ice cream, especially during the summer, that I can sympathize with the desire for a Pacojet. I wonder if they can be had used for a more user friendly price.

  34. M- I’m trying to be very disciplined because I know if I cheat once, I will cheat again. :)

    Jason- they are about $3500! you can turn anything into ice cream with a pacojet.

    Kara Lynn- yes, that would be perfect!

    Dawn- I will definitely check it out.

    Lecia- C’s uncle leaves outside of Seattle and his brother in Oregon so we are having a family get together. The workshop came after the fact actually, but I’m glad it’s happening! Can’t wait to meet you!

    Michelle- sounds fabulous! i know, pacojet makes everything so, so smooth…

    Bonnie- yes, me too!

    Sanura- sounds great!

    Thank you all. Have a great weekend!

  35. These photos are absolutely precious. There’s nothing sweeter to look at than the soft images of summer, and the yummy food to ring in the season. Lovely photos and scrumptious recipes, as usual.

  36. I love making different/unusual ice cream flavors like the peach, basil and lemon thyme sorbet, Aran – it’s wonderful to try new combos! These are precious and, as usual, stunningly presented.

  37. Page says:

    love your blog!! :) everything looks delicious :)
    i’m definitely following you! :)

  38. Indie.Tea says:

    Those two flavors sound (and look) divine. I really need an ice cream maker…

  39. I think you’ve just convinced me to buy an ice cream maker!

  40. ohh just amazing and mouthwatering!
    The Design DIsh

  41. Golubka says:

    I ordered an ice cream maker a few days ago and cannot wait for it to come to start making sorbet and ice cream! Everything here looks so beautiful, will definitely give the peach and basil combo a try!

  42. Jocosa says:

    I loved this it looks very yummy and I am sure the it will also taste great. Taste it to see the intensity you like. Strain the syrup and let it cool completely. Refrigerate for an hour or until chilled.

    Hologram sticker Labelling Machines

  43. cutlex says:

    This is Heaven Aran! I wouldn’t have to buy a book in making sorbets with this creations!

  44. Barbara says:

    Fabulous flavour combinations. Your pictures are gorgeous Aran.

  45. Gorgeous! I hadn’t heard of the PacoJet before. As if I needed something that would allow me to make ice cream more efficiently. Thank goodness it is on the expensive side. I have enough trouble moderating the stuff as it is! Keep up the great work!

  46. Hettar7 says:

    the butterscotch smoked almond ice cream sounds really good. and yes, this hot weather screams ice cream time! thanks for posting these.

  47. Tara says:

    All three of these are calling to me! I’ve put a hold on baking for the moment, but still crave some kitchen time. I only wish my puny Cuisinart ice cream maker would turn into a professional model! Have a wonderful time on your trip! I wish I could be at the workshop!

  48. Maybe one of these days you’ll come to Las Vegas. . .

    Let’s just be honest here; I wish you could come teach in my kitchen and pick what you wanted to use from my garden!

  49. Summer should be filled with ice creams and sorbets like those. I can’t wait to unearth my ice cream maker from storage so I can get started too!

  50. It’s great to read recipes with a focus on cold items. Our AC is broken and, while sweating, it’s unbearable to see giant photos of heavy, hot food. The peaches look great. If they’re not available, we use other fruits and puree them, but the whole layout is attractive and mouth watering.

  51. I’m going to try my own reverse pacojet McGyver method on that Butterscotch and Smoked Almond recipe. This post has got me seriously salivating!

  52. Wow – what a beautiful blog you have! So beautiful photos!


  53. Caroline says:

    Everything looks beautiful and all together delicious!!! xo

  54. joyce says:

    This is so beautiful. I can’t wait till I can get an ice cream maker.

  55. I love everyithing!!!!!
    Very nice and delicius!!!
    Kiss Criss – Brasil

  56. Inés says:

    Aran, melokotoiak nola daude eginak?. Azala kendu eta labean sartu al dituzu?. Disdira ematen dute. Eta gainera belar eder horrekin… Aran super-master-a zara…

  57. Ines- melokotoiak ur irikiten sartu segundu batzuk azala kentzeko eta holan gelditzen dire zuritzerakoan. Kolore polite ezta? gozo gozo egon ziren. Eskerrik asko.

    Thank you very much!

  58. cindy* says:

    delightful! everything looks so cool and refreshing!

    i hope seattle is amazing…i love the pacific northwest. i acutally just returned from a week in vancouver, bc. breathetaking!

  59. how much fun would it be to have a pacojet at home (also dream of a thermomix)?? all these treats are perfect to beat the heat, but i’m all over that butterscotch ice cream!! enjoy your trip!

  60. Steph- i just recently learned about the wonders of thermomix. must test it soon! thank you!

  61. Natali says:

    Your blog is so cool!Peach and basil sorbet is really delicious. Thank you for great recipe :-)

  62. susan says:

    I just made the base for the butterscotch ice cream, and I could drink it. It is going to be hard to let it rest in the fridge! Wonderful combo, Aran!!!

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