For those of you that read the magazine Saveur, I have an article in the June/July issue (2012) on Lucuma Ice Cream from Helados OVNI, a small ecological ice cream producer on the side of the Pan-American Highway south of Lima in the town of Chilca (Kilometer 63.5), a perfect summer stop for Limeños traveling to their beach houses in the Playas of Asia.
Lucuma is one of the signature fruits of Peru (it is also found in northern Chile). Lucuma, with a green skin and orange, yoke like flesh, is found along the lower slopes of the western side of the Andes. The flavor, particularly in sweets, is unlike any fruit you have ever encountered. It’s somewhere between pumpkin and maple syrup. I use the frozen pulp in cocktails sometimes (Luku Shake = lucuma pulp, pisco or vodka, amaretto, touch of cream, blended with ice), the ice cream is where it really shines. Lucuma ice cream regularly outsells strawberry and chocolate in Peru and even the fast food chains like Bembo’s have it on their menus. Pinkberry, who launched in Peru a few years ago, quickly realized they would have to add a lucuma yogurt flavor in order to compete. You can also use lucuma to make pastas, mousse, and smoothies.
Frozen lucuma pulp can be purchased from Hispanic supermarkets in the United States. Several import companies now sell the pulp, though Peru Food Import based in New York is the most common. Lucuma powder is also available and may be used. Zocalo Gourmet sells the powder in bulk.
The recipe that was supposed to be attached to the piece, was cut out of the magazine due to space. It has been provided here:
RECIPE: Helado de Lucuma (Lucuma Ice Cream)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 6 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup lucuma (thawed)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Heat 1 1/3 cups of the cream in the top of a double boiler over simmering water over medium heat.
2. While the cream is heating, whisk egg yolks, sugar, and corn syrup in a metal mixing bowl. Pour 1/4 cup of the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then whisk mixture back into the remaining cream in the double boiler. Cook while stirring with a wooden spoon until mixture begins to thicken and has a slight boil, about 15 minutes.
3. Strain into a clean bowl and place into an ice bath. Add lucuma pulp, vanilla, and remaining cream and whisk until blended. Refrigerate until cold, about 4-5 hours. Process according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Makes: 1 Quart
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.