Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cooking Floyd: It's Ice Cream Season!!!

Into late fall and through the winter I forget how wonderful homemade ice cream is.  I suppose it has something to do with the chilly weather although I love ice cream year round.  I did make pumpkin ice cream and cinnamon ice cream for Thanksgiving but mostly I'm happy with a double chocolate caramel Magnum bar.

But summer's in full swing and the fruits and berries are rolling in so I thought I'd kick off with an ice cream that has no summer fruit in it at all - Thai Ice Cream!

Thai Ice Cream
1-1/2 cups fresh basil leaves (tightly packed)
3 red chilies, de-seeded and finely minced or 1 ½ teaspoons sriracha and 1 small sweet red pepper de-seeded and finely minced
¼ cup candied ginger, finely minced
1 tablespoon lime zest
1/3 cup lime juice
2 cans full-fat coconut milk (13.6-ounce cans)
1 cup honey
¾ cup half & half
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks, beaten

Heat coconut milk and cream on the stove over medium high in a saucepan until hot and bubbles begin to form around the edge. Add honey and salt; mix to dissolve. Add basil leaves, stir and allow them to wilt in the mixture; remove saucepan from heat.

Pour mixture into a food processor or blender and emulsify until completely creamy and no chunks of basil are visible (if this is not possible in your blender you can strain out the basil pieces with a fine wire strainer/colander if you like or you can leave the basil pieces in the mixture). Return to saucepan and rewarm.

Add minced chilies or sriracha and minced sweet red pepper, and the minced candied ginger.  Remove from heat and allow mixture to steep 20 minutes; this allows the flavors to infuse.

Add a little of the warm basil-chili milk mix to the egg yolks and stir well to temper the yolks.  Return this to the pan and heat gently, stirring constantly until mixture thickens into a custard and coats the back of a spoon. Stir in lime zest and juice.  Heat and stir a little longer to rethicken if necessary.  Pour mixture in a large container and refrigerate a few hours until cool.

If using an ice cream maker, follow the instructions on your ice cream maker. You can also try this without an ice cream maker by putting the mixture in a freezer-safe container and stirring with a spoon every hour until you reach an ice cream consistency. If you try this without an ice cream maker, small ice crystals will form and the consistency will not be as creamy as you’d get when using an ice cream maker, but it will still be delicious! I prefer my ice cream soft and creamy just the way it comes out of the churn, but others prefer it "ripened".  To ripen ice cream transfer it from the churn to a freezer safe container and allow it to harden in the freezer for a couple of hours or so.  When ready to eat it, pull the container out and allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Now here's one that is about berries!  I had thawed strawberries left over from the jam class that needed to be used.  Probably about 3 cups worth sitting in their own juice.  I've never come across a strawberry ice cream recipe that was strawberry-intense enough for me until I found this one from Ice Cream Ireland, one of my favorite blogs.  Kieran calls for fresh strawberries in his coulis but I needed to use my thawed ones so I adapted it a little.  I've included his original recipe with my adaptations in italics.  Sorry, I don't have photos for this one.

Strawberry and Sage Ice Cream
1 cup Sugar
5 Egg Yolks
1 3/8 Cups Cream
1 1/8 Cups Milk
1 Strawberry Sage Coulis recipe (see below)
Make the strawberry and sage coulis.
Beat the sugar and egg yolks together until thick and pale yellow.

Bring the milk to a simmer. Remove from the heat.  Beat the milk into the eggs and sugar in a slow stream.  Pour the mixture back into pan and place over low heat.  Stir until the custard thickens.  Allow the custard to cool.

Whip the cream until you have soft peaks. Do not over-whip!  Fold in the custard and coulis.  Chill.

If using an ice cream machine follow the manufacturer's instructions, or cover and place in the freezer, stirring every hour until the custard freezes to an ice cream consistency.

Strawberry and Sage Coulis
¾ lb fresh, ripe strawberries or 3 cups of thawed frozen berries and their juice
1 tablespoon water, eliminate the water if using frozen berries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
2 fresh sage leaves, I used 6 large, fresh sage leaves cut into fine chiffonade

Rinse and hull the strawberries.  Put them in a food proccesor or blender and pulse two or three times. You don’t want a puree here! Just break them up a bit.  I just used a potato masher on the thawed berries and honestly, that's what I'd use on the fresh berries too.

Chop the sage leaves in to fine pieces. (If you use dried sage, use about a half teaspoon).  I rolled the leaves up together like a little cigar and then very finely sliced them across the roll.  That's called a chiffonade.

Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. Don’t bring it to the boil. Cook it slowly simply to infuse the strawberries with the sage.  I let it cook for 30 minutes with the frozen berries in order to evaporate some of the water out of the mixture and condense and intensify the flavor.  That may not be necessary with fresh berries.  Since this was going into the ice cream mixture I chilled it while I worked on the custard.

Serve hot or cold over ice cream or with another dessert.

I really, really like this very strawberry ice cream!  However, what I'd do next time is infuse some sage in the custard mixture in the same way that the basil is infused in the Thai ice cream recipe.  even though I upped the amount of sage in the coulis it still didn't come through as strongly as I would have liked.  I mean, yeah, it should be subtle but I definitely want to know it's there.  But if you want your strawberry ice cream to be very berry without the use of extracts or artificial flavorings, this is the recipe to use!

No comments:

Post a Comment