Central American Journey

El Salvador and beyond…


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Lime curd ice cream (Helado de limón)

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I know we haven’t yet told you anything about the rest of our time in El Salvador except our first week.  In the mean time, I felt the need to blog about the first attempt I made at real ice cream (and food photography) with a Salvadoran Spanish lesson thrown in for good measure.  According to our host family, in El Salvador, what we call a lime in the US is called el limón and what we call a lemon is called la lima.  Lemon curd is also not really a thing here, so my Spanish dictionary translation of crema de limón didn’t mean anything to them.  It is next to impossible to find lemons here, but the limes are $.09 a piece.  It’s been pretty hot and there was an unexpected (to us) holiday which started on August 1st and ended yesterday.  So, when I got an email several days ago with a recipe for lemon curd ice cream, I decided I had to make some, with los limónes.  However, I’ve only ever made frozen yogurt before, with an electric ice cream maker. Through that post, I read a lot about making ice cream without an ice cream machine.

Also coincidentally, I came across a blog written by a pastry chef, which had an interesting recipe for lemon curd that didn’t use butter or other thickeners.  I highly recommend bravetart.com if you are looking for entertaining (and sometimes complicated) homemade dessert recipes.  She uses exclusively weight measurements for her recipes, which would be great if I were in my kitchen in the US because I have a scale.  But, I am in El Salvador in someone else’s kitchen with no scale, so I had to translate the exact measurements into volume.  I think that is how I ended up with less curd than the recipe suggests.  I also found Stella (aka BraveTart) to be very communicative and generous, responding quickly to my question on facebook.

I combined my lime curd with equal amounts of cream and put it in a pre-chilled stainless steel skillet in the freezer.  I stirred every 30 minutes or so, until it was like soft-serve consistency.  Then I transferred it into a plastic container we reused from a previous ice cream purchase.  It made about a pint and a half of ice cream.  It was delicious and had a great creamy, not icy, texture!

Also, fun fact about El Salvador, the refrigerators are kept at a higher temperature than in the US (I assume for energy conservation purposes).  We discovered this by having a package of chicken go bad after two days (you have to keep it in the freezer until you’re ready to cook it).  So, when I bought the only container of cream they had at the grocery store that was not in a can, it was a full liter (!) of cream.  We needed to make more ice cream to use it up before the cream, which lives in the warmer refrigerator, went bad.  Our coffee ice cream is currently freezing.  I’ll post the recipe I made up at another time.  I also have ten egg whites, from medium sized eggs, in the freezer to use up.  I’m open for suggestions for things to do with them that don’t require an electric mixer (or equivalent).  Any ideas?

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