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Jijona turrón ice cream

>> Friday, April 15, 2011

Turrón ice cream 1

Do you know what turrón is? It is a nougat-like confectionery mostly made with almonds, tons of almonds… and also sugar, honey and egg whites. It is typical Christmas fare all over Spain, although originating from the southeast Mediterranean coast, in the region of Valencia (check here the Spanish pronunciation of turrón). It is usually shaped into either a rectangular tablet or a round cake where almonds can be left whole or ground to a paste to yield the following traditional varieties:

  • Hard (the Alicante variety): A compact block of whole almonds in a brittle mass of eggs, honey and sugar; 64% almonds (premium quality).
  • Soft (the Jijona variety): Similar but the almonds are reduced to a paste. The addition of oil makes the matrix more chewy and sticky; 60% almonds (premium quality).
Jijona is a small town known since the Middle Ages for its excellent honey and productive almond orchards. This local produce gave birth to turrón, referenced for the first time in a document of 1531. Turrón is such a valued confection that today its formulas and quality are standardized and endorsed by a Regulation Council.

Turrón ice cream 2

And I guess you are wondering why I am talking about Christmas now, right at the beginning of Spring. Well, because the same as turrón itself reminds any Spaniard of Christmas, ice cream flavored with Jijona turrón is a variety that no Spanish ice cream shop fails to stock during the warm season. And as in Spain it is very common to have turrón leftovers at home after Christmas, this is a wonderful way to give this traditional confection a totally different twist. And that is exactly what I did. So as warmer weather is on its way in the northern hemisphere and just in case you happen to lay your hands on a tablet of Jijona turrón, here is the recipe for this creamy, rich and very Mediterranean ice cream:

Jijona turrón ice cream
Serves 6

For the custard:
  • 0.75 cup (150g) sugar*
  • 2 cups (500ml) whole milk
  • 3 medium eggs (whites separated)
For the flavouring:
  • 0.33oz (150g) soft Jijona turrón
  • 3 tbsp Málaga wine (a good quality sweet Sherry can be used instead)
  • 0.85 cup (200ml) whipping cream
  1. To make the custard, put the sugar, milk and egg yolks in a saucepan and prepare a custard using a bain marie or double boiler, stirring slowly and continuously with a wooden spoon, until the custard is set and it coats the back of the spoon. Watch it closely to avoid any boiling, or it will curdle.
  2. Process the crumbled turrón with the wine into a paste, then add to the custard and mix well. Set this mixture aside and let cool to ambient.
  3. When the turrón custard is cool, whip the cream to soft peaks and add, folding gently till fully incorporated.
  4. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold carefully into the mixture. Mix gently but thoroughly to avoid any white streaks in the final ice cream mixture.
  5. Leave to freeze in your icebox and whip every hour till fully set or churn in your ice cream maker, if you are lucky to have one, which I am not.
*A note on sugar: the sugar content is a very region-dependent and even personal matter, and it should be adjusted to your liking, so I recommend you try the mixture before churning. Usually European confectioneries, pastries and sweet things in general are less sweet than for example in the United States. And remember frozen desserts should always be on the sweet side before freezing or churning, as the sweetness will be less noticeable afterwards.

Turrón ice cream 3

And there you have it. To my taste this ice cream is so rich that I don’t need any topping or sauce on mine, but feel free to use some chocolate sauce or almond brittle…

Check this article at Honest Cooking.

Turrón ice cream 4

10 comentarios:

Nisrine Merzouki April 16, 2011 at 12:26 AM  

I was in Spain briefly a couple of weeks ago and didn't buy turron even though they had at the airport. I promised myself I will next time. Sounds awesome in an ice cream.

bellini April 16, 2011 at 11:59 AM  

I would love to get my hands on some of this type of turron as well as the ice cream!

Jamie April 16, 2011 at 12:06 PM  

I recently saw a recipe for ice cream with nougat but your ice cream looks so much better! Delicious! And I love the addition of sweet wine! I need to get ice cream making! I love it!

All Our Fingers in the Pie April 17, 2011 at 5:33 PM  

This looks delicious! I am making ice cream today - vanilla bean. Wish I had some turron.

Al Dente Gourmet April 18, 2011 at 1:55 AM  

Ay,Madre mia! este helado se ve de muerte! Una delicia total y de turron encima, una de mis debilidades. Que fantastica receta, Miriam.



Maria April 18, 2011 at 4:31 AM  

You had me at ice cream! This sounds incredibly delicious :-)

Trix April 18, 2011 at 3:32 PM  

I don't think I have ever had turrón ... I love honey, I am sure I would love your ice cream. I have recently become quite fond of Polish honey vodka ... hmmm, could this ice cream be made alcoholic?? ; )

Miriam April 26, 2011 at 7:58 PM  

Nisrine: it is awesome!
Val: I know it's sold online in the States, but the price may be high, I guess.
Jamie: thanks!
AOFP: mmmm, vanilla, my favourite...
Aldy: ;)
Maria: it's one of Spain's favourite ice creams, no doubt.
Trix: I'm sure it could... maybe it should? ;)

Jonny May 6, 2011 at 2:24 PM  

que rico helado, Miriam! I'm a big fan of both kinds of turron, but with a definite preference for turron de jijona. I once made a mousse of turron de jijona but must have used too much gelatin as it resembled the texture of a rubber ball. It's not quite ice cream weather here yet, but I'd definitely make an exception for this!

Spicie Foodie May 10, 2011 at 6:24 PM  

I would love several scoops of this Turron ice cream. I'm always curious about new flavors and this one would jump out at me immediately. You could almost say that Turron is eaten year round then.
(BTW thank you Miriam for your kind comment :) )


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