In the food blogging world, October is 'pumpkin' month. Every day, all this month, my inbox will have at least one pumpkin post. But, here's the thing, for all its celebrated status in America, the pumpkin has a more modest, humble status, here in India.
For starters, we get this vegetable all year round and almost always, it's prepared as a savoury dish. So, not for us is the hype that surrounds the pumpkin. For me, even the idea of pumpkin in desserts, is taking its time getting used to!!
But, if October is the month of pumpkins in America, here in India, it is the month of custard apples, or sitaphal as we call it. They are all over the market, right now and here for the shortest time possible.
It falls in the category of fruits, best eaten alone. Savoured at leisure, as you make your way through the fruit, removing the flesh from the seeds, one at a time. It is added to a few milk-based Indian desserts but the one dessert that wins hands-down with my entire family is Sitaphal ice-cream. And none of that artificially flavoured stuff please, but the real stuff, that is ice-cream flavoured with real fruit pulp.
The recipe I turn to does not require an ice-cream maker and it does not even require you to make a custard. It is so fantastically easy and does the job brilliantly. I was introduced to the recipe by my friend Vini, who made a fig and honey version of this ice-cream. Over the summer, I saw versions of this no-churn ice-cream on Aara's blog and then, the domestic goddess herself, Nigella got into the act with a no-churn coffee ice-cream. With fabulous reviews all round, about time, I gave it a go!!
Scroll down and read the recipe and you'll see for yourself, how easy it is!! Don't get too fussy about its consistency, this is along the lines of a soft serve ice-cream. And no, there will be no ice crystals to worry about. The standout point of this ice-cream is that it has none of the artificial taste that is associated with commercial ice-cream. You will taste the fruit in all its honesty.
I have used sitaphal, but feel free to use any soft fruit that's in season for you. I had tried it with mango over the summer and it was much appreciated. Look around the market and the possibilities are endless.
In India, the weather in October, gets hotter before it gets any cooler. Perfect weather for a scoop as you look forward to the upcoming festive season!!
Sitaphal (Custard Apple) Ice Cream
serves 8 (the recipe can be easily halved)
- 1 x 400 gms can condensed milk (In India, one can use 'Nestle' or 'Amul Mithai Mate')
- 400 mls double cream (I use Amul cream and it works just fine!!)
- 1.5-2 cups sitaphal pulp (Take care to see that all the seeds have been removed. I will leave it to your discretion on how much pulp you would like to add)
- Place the cream and condensed milk in a bowl. Whisk them together with a hand blender, for approximately two minutes, until the mixture feels lighter and fluffier.
- Then add the fruit pulp with a hand whisk, blend it into the cream mixture. Do taste the mixture and check whether you'd like it to have more fruit.
- Pour this mixture into an air tight container and freeze, preferably overnight.
- Serve straight from the freezer.