Not only is it dangerous, but they are going to waste.
Everyone, except us, has an avocado tree of some variety -- manteiga (butter), coité (named after a round green fruit from which the locals crafts bowls), preto (black-skinned), vermelho (reddish-skinned) -- in their quintal. The annual crop far surpasses the local demand. Even the pigs and chickens turn up their noses after their first few gorgings each year.
We actually do have an avocado tree the size and shape of a young red oak in the orchard, but no one can tell me whether it has not yet produced due to its tender age, or to a lack of TLC and manure.
Anyway, should our tree ever bear fruit, I'm not sure what I'd do.
One can only eat so many perfect, green, creamy avocados sprinkled with sugar for a mid-morning snack, or drink so many vitaminas de abacate (avocado milkshakes). No self-respecting São Gonçalense would even think of preparing avocado as a savory dish -- no guacamole here, no avocados vinaigrette, no avocados heaped with tuna or shrimp or crab mayonnaise -- but I am working on it.
Madalena or Francisco occasionally show up at the kitchen door with a sack full of perfectly ripe fruits -- the big, smooth, green variety. When I think of the price that people pay for this luxury in New England, I begin to fantasize about exportation schemes. But then I sigh, drizzle another one with extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper, and dig in. Marlene and Cida just look at me, giggle, glance at my midriff, comment on the avocado’s huge fat content -- and refuse to partake of my crazy American salad.
I head for my pantry. How can I turn this bounty into something sweet that will appeal to our Brazilian guests? The leite de coco (coconut milk), a staple in my pantry, jumps off the shelf at me.
Could I swap the avocados for bananas and the coconut milk for sour milk in Aunt Connie’s banana bread? Or whip up an avocado mousse with a coconut créme anglaise?
No contest. Ice cream wins, hands down.
Avocado coconut milk ice cream
Smooth and creamy, and easy to make with a blender and an ice cream machine. Makes approximately two quarts.
3 cups milk
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 lb ripe avocado pulp (about 1-2 Hass avocados)
1-1/2 tsp lime juice, or to taste
Purée all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Taste to see if the mixture needs more lime; it should give a lift but not taste too acidic. Chill mixture completely, then freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions.
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