Cold Comfort Ice Cream: Creative Ice Cream Recipes from Snowy New England

Archive for June 2010

Even better than Black Raspberry!

I decided to make this flavor after a bumper crop of fresh blackberries came into all of my local grocery stores, yielding pints and pints of fresh, juicy, inky black berries on sale for only 99 cents a pint. So what to do with them all? Make tasty homemade ice cream of course! Part of the many charms of DIY ice cream is that you can make flavors that are nearly impossible to find commercially. Blackberry ice cream is one such flavor. Sure black raspberry is readily available, but do you really think it’s made with real, wholesome, honest to goodness black raspberries? In most cases I highly doubt it. Not only does the homemade kind have real, natural ingredients but the taste is superior as well. A beauty both to look at and to eat.

Quick Skillet Jam

When I first started to make fruit ice creams, I followed certain recipes that instructed me to simply mix pureed fruit right into the ice cream base. In my opinion, I think this method yields an icy finished product. You see, water is the enemy of ice cream. Added water to your base will diminsh creaminess and produce an icy result every time. This is tricky when it comes to making fruit based ice creams because fruit inherently contains a lot of water. My solution? The quick skillet jam. By making a jam I boil the troublesome water out of the fruit while concentrating the flavors of it simultaneously. Then, right before you put it into the ice cream maker, I add a small amount of pureed fruit for freshness.

You've got to love lavendar ice cream!

Please don’t be afraid to make a skillet jam!  Trust me, it’s fall off a log simple. You just mash up the berries a bit, through em’ in a pan with some sugar and booze, and simmer over low heat until jam-like.  No scary canning, sealing or boiling required. The jam won’t keep as long as a properly canned preserves would, but it you really don’t need it to. This jam is made for a higher purpose- providing sweet, sweet flavor to your homemade ice cream!

A great way to kick off summer!

Blackberry Ice Cream is a perfect flavor for summer, and this recipe came out beautifully. The texture was actually velvety with a creamy, fruity flavor. Do think of this pretty little dessert next time berries are on sale at your local supermarket. Or whenever the mood strikes!

Blackberry Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients:

12 oz. blackberries, divided

2 cups half and half

3/4 cup sugar, divided

3 large egg yolks

pinch of salt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier liquor, or other liquor compatible with blackberries

1.) To make the easy skillet jam, combine 9 oz of the blackberries, ½ cup of the sugar, and 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier in a medium pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until reduced, with a jam-like consistency (about 30-40 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add in the remaining tablespoon of Grand Marnier and remove from heat. Spoon into a container; cool to room temperature.

2.) Place remaining fresh blackberries in food processor. Pulse until blended. Strain puree through a sieve to get rid of extraneous seeds.

3.) Combine half and half in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Heat until bubbles appear near the rim of the saucepan and steam begins to rinse, but do not let it boil.

4.)    Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks together in a large bowl and gradually add the remaining ¼ cup sugar. Whisk the mixture until the yolks look fluffy and turn a pale yellow color.

5.)    All the while whisking the egg yolk mixture, slowly and gradually add the half and half and when fully emulsified, pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan. Over low heat constantly mix the base with a spatula or wooden spoon until it thickens slightly and can coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 6 minutes.

6.)    Immediately remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pinch of salt, vanilla extract, blackberry puree and blackberry jam, whisking well to blend. Refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Freeze according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. Enjoy!

Make it a sundae!

While I think this ice cream is stand alone delicious, I think it would taste lovely with a white chocolate hot fudge sauce drizzled on top. Blackberries and white chocolate are a tried and true delicious flavor combo. Emeril Lagasse makes a tasty looking white chocolate sauce here:

http://www.emerils.com/recipe/1556/White-Chocolate-Sauce

It's good- I swear!

I know- this sounds bizarre- but roll with me!  Keep an open mind if you will. When it comes to ice cream, pretty much anything that has a natural sweetness to it can be made into a tasty ice cream. Sometimes the greatest flavors can come from some pretty unexpected places. For instance, sweet fresh corn ice cream was a revelation to me last year. It’s off the charts tasty, and actually incredibly popular in Asian and Latin American countries. Like corn, beets have a natural sweetness that lend themselves equally well to both savory and sweet dishes. They ain’t called nature’s candy for nothing!  You can see why in this beautiful, vibrant and delicious ice cream recipe.

Sweet Beet

I have to give credit where credit is due here- I was given the courage to make this recipe by the great food blog Desert Candy. I was mulling over making a beet ice cream, but her post on Beet Ice Cream convinced me to go for it! And I’m so glad I did- her recipe is fantastic. Sweet and citrusy with a touch of earthiness.

This aint no strawberry milkshake!

This bold and vibrant ice cream is fairly easy to make. The most difficult part is roasting the beets, and even that is pretty simple. Just wrap the beets in foil and roast until tender, peel off the skins,  and then chop. Then blend the beets with orange juice, orange zest, sour cream and half and half. No custards, no cooking, and no eggs involved. Just make sure to avoid using canned beets. Roasted beets are just light years tastier and once you try them you’ll never go back to canned beets ever again.

Pretty in Pink

This ice cream was surprisingly good. And it’s gorgeously hued to boot! Make it for friends and amaze their palates with this playful, whimsical dessert.

Beet Ice Cream

3 medium-size beets
1 small orange
8 oz (about 1 cup) sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Wrap the beets in foil and roast in the oven until very tender, about 45 minutes. Remove, when cool enough to handle, peel beets and chop finely.
2. Place the beets in a blender or food processor. Add the juice of the small orange and about 1 teaspoon of the orange zest. Purée the mixture until you have a rough purée. Add the sour cream, sugar, and half-and-half. Purée the mixture until completely smooth and combined.
3. Press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve (optional). Refrigerate to chill the mixture completely, several hours or overnight. Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Make it a Sundae!– Try this ice cream drizzled with dark chocolate hot fudge. Beets and chocolate both have a natural earthiness that compliment each other beautifully.