blacksquirrel: (Foods - Sangria)
[personal profile] blacksquirrel
I have been enjoying summer back at home. Things are still quite busy as I'm trying to reconnect with all my family and friends here all at once, while also squaring away a million little details of the move. We've gone on a number of surprisingly fun and harmonious family trips up North and to the zoo, among other places, and I've gone to the farmers' market nearly every weekend, which has been lovely.

And, of course, I'm cooking quite a bit.

Because it's summer and it's unbelievably hot out at the moment, lets talk about ice cream.

I adore my ice cream maker, and some of my very favorite summer places around the cities (Grand Ole Creamery, Crema, Sebastian Joe's), and in France (l'Art Glacier) are ice cream shops.

So here are some of the ice cream recipes I've been making and enjoying lately :)

Lavender Ice Cream

I love lavender gelato in the south of France, but it does always have a certain strange feeling to it because that scent is so often associated with soap. This recipe, however, was light and, forgive the pun, floral :) I served it with raspberries, mulberries, and lavender flowers from the garden, as well as a few candied violets - and it was almost like being back at l'Art Glacier.

2 heaping Tbsp lavender flowers
4 1/4 cups milk (2% or whole)
1 + 1/8 cups heavy cream
10.5 oz sugar

Bring the sugar and milk to boil. Remove from the heat and add the lavender flowers. Let infuse covered for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight.

Filter the milk. Whip the cream into firm peaks, and whisk in the lavender milk.

Place in your ice cream maker and use according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Place in the freezer until ready to use.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

3 1/2 c milk
3 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon flake salt

1. Place milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge of pan (do not boil). Place egg yolks in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Gradually add half of hot milk to yolks, stirring constantly. Return yolk mixture to pan.

2. Combine sugar, cream, and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar melts. Cook 3 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat; stir in sea salt. Gradually add caramel mixture to yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Return pan to low heat; cook until a thermometer registers 160°. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl until completely cooled, stirring occasionally, or refrigerate overnight. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Place in freezer until firm.

Serve with a sprinkle of flake salt.

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

Surprisingly wonderful!

2 ears corn
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Grate corn kernels (and their "milk") off the cobs into a bowl. Discard cobs.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, milk, and corn. Bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk sugar and egg yolks until pale and thick. When cream mixture reaches a simmer, slowly ladle 1/2 cup of it into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Repeat with another 1/2-cup ladleful. Reduce heat to low, whisk warmed egg mixture into saucepan, and cook, whisking, until mixture thickens a bit, about 5 minutes.

3. Pour mixture into a medium bowl, stir in vanilla, cover with plastic wrap (letting the wrap sit directly on the mixture's surface), and chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

4. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight plastic container and freeze up to overnight.

Bittersweet Chocolate-Cherry Sorbet

3/4 cup red cherry jam (with large cherry pieces - such as Bonne Maman or Trader Joes)
1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups water

1. To prepare sorbet, combine first 4 ingredients in a heavy saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add 2 cups water, stirring with a whisk. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring well with a whisk. Cool to room temperature; cover and chill overnight.

2. Stir sorbet mixture with a whisk. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Spoon sorbet into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 1 hour or until firm.

Serve topped with fresh cherries.

Gazpacho with Basil Sorbet

We ate this in Provence and absolutely had to learn how to make it. It tastes like summer in a spoon :)

Dice: 3 large tomatoes, 2 medium red bell peppers, 2 small cucumbers, seeds removed

Mince: 1/2 small sweet onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 hot pepper

As you dice, place the ends of everything (all the scraps) plus all the insides of the tomato and 1/2 carrot into a blender. Blend to liquefy. (Add more whole vegetables depending on how many scraps you have - you want about 3 cups of juice).

Put all the diced/minced ingredients into a large bowl. Top with: 2 tsp salt, freshly ground black pepper, the juice of 1 lime, and 1/3 cup of vinegar (mix white wine vinegar with rice vinegar, or use tarragon or champagne vinegar). Stir to combine and let stand for 5 minutes until vegetables start to release their juices.

Pour blender juice over the diced vegetables. Add water or ice cubes if there isn't enough liquid. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours to 2 days.

To serve, adjust seasoning (add more pepper or salt if needed), and garnish with avocado, olive oil, fresh cilantro, and/or basil sorbet

Basil Sorbet

5.5 oz (2/3 c) sugar
500 ml water
2 oz (2.5 c) fresh basil leaves 2.5 cups
Juice of 1 lime

Put the sugar and water in a pot and heat to dissolve the sugar. When it is boiling, reduce to simmer for 3 minutes Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

Wash the basil leaves and place them in a blender with the cooled syrup. Add the lime juice and blend to liquify.

Strain (or not - I like it unstrained) the basil liquid and use an ice cream machine to make your sorbet. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. When done, place in the freezer until ready to use.

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