Blueberry, Mango and Mint Ice Cream

As the summer nears the end, I saw the local farmer’s market had some fresh blueberries and I wanted to take advantage of some farm-fresh (and not grocery store fresh) blueberries.  I was looking up blueberry recipes and came across this recipe from the Love and Lemons Cookbook for Blueberry, Mango, and Mint Ice Cream.  Another exciting aspect of this is that it uses coconut milk instead of whole milk and cream.  I haven’t done much cooking with coconut oil, so I will note that the coconut flavor remains once the ice cream was made.  I like coconut, so it was not a problem, but for folks who do not enjoy coconut as much, it could be troublesome.  The mint was faint, but the blueberry and coconut were recognizable in the recipe.

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Blueberry, Mango, and Mint Ice Cream

2 cans full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1 heaping c blueberries
1 mango, pitted and diced
5 to 7 fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/3 c cane sugar
Sea salt

In advance, make sure the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker has been in the freezer overnight, or for at least 15 hours.

Remove the coconut milk from the fridge and carefully scoop the thick solid cream off the top.  Save the watery part for another use.

In a blender, combine the blueberries, mango, mint leaves, coconut solids, cornstarch, sugar, and a pinch of salt and puree until smooth.

Pour the mixture into the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions.  Transfer to a freezer safe container for about 2 hours, or until the ice cream firms up.

If freezing longer, let the ice cream soften at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.

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Peach Honey Habanero Ice Cream

There’s something about peaches that make me smile.  I even planted a peach tree in my backyard a couple years ago, and this year it finally had a couple of fruits on it.  I wasn’t able to use them for this recipe, but I have been excited about peaches as the end of the summer occurs.  I have been loving all things spicy and sweet.  I have cooked some of my standards recently: African Peanut Pineapple Kale Stew, Bacon Candied and Curried Cashews, Raspberry Habanero Jam, and Black Pepper Pound Cake.  This recipe, from the Scoop Adventures Cookbook, was inspired by Amy’s Ice Creams from Austin, Texas.  The habanero had some very subtle heat that came from the back.

Peach Honey Habanero Ice Cream

Peach Honey Habanero Ice Cream, Inspired by Amy’s Ice Creams, Austin TX

1 habanero pepper
1/2 c honey
1 1/2 lb peaches (4 or 5 medium)
1/2 c water
1/2 c sugar
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 c heavy cream
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to broil.  Cut the habanero pepper in half and remove the seeds and stem.  Place on parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet, skin side up.  Roast under the broiler until charred, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and place in a blender with the honey.  Blend until well-combined.  Pour into a small container and chill in the refrigerator overnight, or up to 48 hours, depending on the heat level you desire.

Peel, pit, and slice the peaches.  Combine the prepared peaches, water, and sugar in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat.  Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the peaches are soft, 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove from the heat and cool completely.  Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use the ice cream.

Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside.  Pour the cream into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until the cream begins to bubble  Temper the eggs by slowly pouring 1/2 c warmed cream into the yolks, whisking constantly until combined.  Return the warmed yolk to the pan with the remaining cream.  Heat the custard over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon.  Remove from the heat and pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl.  Cool to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Once the base is chilled, combine the habanero honey, peaches, prepared ice cream base, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in a blender.  Puree until well-blended.  Pour directly into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 4 hours.

Margarita Ice Cream

One week I found myself in a boozy ice cream trend and kept making one ice cream after another that incorporated some kind of alcohol — pineapple sherbet with rum in it, dark chocolate zin ice cream with red zin, and then this margarita ice cream from the Chicago Tribune’s Leah Eskin.  The lime flavor in this ice cream is really strong, and so when it came time to serve it to others (because rarely do I take time to make things fancy for myself), I added some flaked coconut to the top of the ice cream.  I’m not sure if it’s because of the alcohol in the ice cream or the humidity in the air, but the ice cream was pretty soft when it came time to scoop it.  I was happy to have it be soft, though, after some early attempts were so hard when scooping.

Margarita Ice Cream

Margarita ice cream

5 or 6 limes
1 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons orange-juice concentrate
2 tablespoons triple sec
1 tablespoon tequila
1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Finely grate the zest from 2 limes. Halve and juice all the limes; measure out ½ cup juice. Save any additional juice for serving.  Whisk sugar into lime juice. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Pour cream mixture into an ice cream maker and churn thick. Pack into a plastic container, cover and freeze firm, 1 or more hours.  Scoop into small bowls, or, for effect, margarita glasses rimmed with reserved lime juice and salt.

Rosemary Infused Pear Sorbet

Despite my frequent and weekly posting of ice cream, along with a number of other sweets posted over the past few weeks, I have been trying to cut back on my sugar intake over the last several weeks.  As a result, I’ve been looking for some frozen dishes that use less sugar, and this recipe that has a little bit of honey, meets expectations.  The recipe came from the Empowered Sustenance website.  When I go to take a bite, I have to remember that it isn’t going to be sweet.  It’s a bit like when I go to drink hipster water (LaCroix), I need to remember it’s not going to have the sweetness of soda.  Similarly, when I go to drink unsweetened iced tea, it’s not going to taste like Crystal Light.  But, as long as I go in with this mindset, the sorbet tastes like a great ending to a meal.  The rosemary does not come through strongly — it’s a slight undertone to the recipe.

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Rosemary Infused Pear Sorbet

4 big pears (or 5 small)
1/2 c water
1/2 Tbsp honey
1 sprig fresh rosemary

Peel and cut the pears into small pieces.  Place all the ingredients in a pot over medium-low heat.  Boil 10 minutes, or until the pears are soft.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Remove the rosemary sprig and transfer into a food processor.  Blend for 20 seconds or until smooth.  Transfer to a bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for ice cream.

Spiced Strawberry Rhubarb Swirl Ice Cream

I had gotten some of the end-of-season rhubarb and was discussing this with a friend in early July.  She shared that strawberry rhubarb was her favorite pie, and while I considered for a moment making that, I saw this recipe from the Scoop Adventures cookbook and knew I wanted to put it together.  The spice flavor is nice in it — although it’s important to like how cardamom tastes.  I associate cardamom with my Norwegian roots, as I do rhubarb, and so when I tasted this, I felt like I was celebrating my heritage.

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Spiced Strawberry Rhubarb Swirl Ice Cream

Strawberry Rhubarb Swirl

1 c chopped rhubarb
1 c mashed strawberries
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Ice Cream Base
1 1/2 c whole milk
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 3/4 c heavy cream
2/3 c sugar
1/4 tsp ground star anise
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

To make the strawberry rhubarb swirl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, and sugar in a medium saucepan.  Stir until the berries have begun to macerate, then place over medium-low heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb and strawberries are broken down, 10 to 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the mixture is reduced by half of its original volume, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.  Stir in the vanilla.  Cover and chill completely before swirling into the ice cream.

To make the ice cream base, fill a large bowl with ice water.  In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp of milk with the cornstarch, whisk, and set aside.  Combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar, star anise, cardamom, and cinamon in a medium saucepan.  Place over medium heat and bring the milk mixture to a low boil.  Cook until the sugar dissolves, 3 minutes.

Remove the milk mixture from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture.  Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.  Pour into a medium bowl and whisk in the salt.  Set the bowl in the ice water bath to cool, 20 minutes, whisking occasionally.  Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Once chilled, pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Spoon a small layer of strawberry rhubarb swirl into a freezer-safe container and light spoon a layer of ice cream on top.  Continue to alternate layers of fruit swirl and ice cream until the container is full, gently swirling with a spoon (careful not to muddy the ice cream).  Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Dark Chocolate Zin Ice Cream

When I was going through my cupboards, I found a bottle of Zin and this sparked a recollection of seeing a recipe from Izzy’s Ice Cream shop, a great little ice cream shop in St. Paul in the Scoop Adventures cookbook, so I thought it was time to go grab this recipe and try it out.

By the way, if you get a chance to visit Izzy’s, you should definitely do it.  Not only is it close to where I went to college, but they have a great little add-on, called the Izzy scoop.

When I reviewed the ice cream and saw that it was egg yolk-based, I questioned for a moment whether I wanted to make it.  As I shared a month or so ago, I didn’t love the egg-based ice cream base I had previously attempted, but it seemed worth another shot.  Overall, I’m very happy with the recipe itself and the ice cream — the taste of the dark chocolate is strong and the zinfandel in relatively faint in the background.  My only complaint/frustration is that the ice cream is VERY soft.  It hardly firmed up.  I’m hoping that the returning it to the freezer after some scooping will help with the firmness.  That being said, it’s not so soft that it’s not servable, but in the hot summer days we’ve been having, I wouldn’t trust it to travel very far and not melt.

Dark Chocolate Zin Ice Cream

Dark Chocolate Zin Ice Cream

Chocolate Liquor
3/4 c cocoa powder
1/3 c water
1/3 c red zinfandel
1/4 c sugar
1 oz dark chocolate, chopped

Ice Cream Base
3 egg yolks
2 1/4 c heavy cream, divided
1 c whole milk
1/2 c sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 tsp balsamic vinegar, divided
1/4 c red zinfandel

To make the chocolate liquor, combine the cocoa powder, water, wine, and sugar in a small saucepan.  Place the saucepan over low heat and bring to a low boil, whisking constantly.  As soon as you see bubbles, remove from the heat and add the dark chocolate.  Let sit for 2 minutes, and then stir the chocolate liquor until smooth.  Pour into a medium bowl and set aside.

To make the ice cream base, fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.  Lightly whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside.  Combine 1 cup of the cream, milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium-low heat.

Warm to dissolve the sugar, about 5 minutes (do not boil).  Temper the eggs by slowly pouring the warmed cream mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly until combined.  Return the custard to the pan and stir in the remaining 1 1/4 c cream.  Warm over medium-low heat, stirring until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 8 minutes.

Remove the custard from the heat and pour through a fine-mesh sieve into the chocolate liquor.  Add the vanilla and whisk to combine.  Set the bowl into the ice water bath to cool, 20 minutes, whisking occasionally.  Once cool, add 1 teaspoon of the vinegar and stir to incorporate.  Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Once chilled, pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  When the ice cream has begun to freeze but is not completely frozen, slowly pour in the remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar and wine.  Complete churning.  Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container and freeze overnight.

Tahini Blondie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Some of my friends have wondered what I’ve been doing with the ice cream I’m making this summer.  And, while lots of it has made its way other places, I also have been on the lookout for other recipes using ice cream.  Having read Molly’s blog for quite some time, I was excited to read her cookbook when it came out.  One of the recipes included was for these Tahini blondie ice cream sandwiches.  After making the animal cracker ice cream, I thought it could be a great complement to the tahini flavor in the bars, and I was right.

I didn’t have 2 8×8 pans on-hand, so I ended up baking the bars in two round pans.  I was very happy with how these turned out and have them in the freezer for the next time friends stop by!

Tahini Blondie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Tahini Blondie Ice Cream Sandwiches

1 1/2 c flour
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 c unsalted butter, melted, but not hot
1 1/4 c tahini
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 pints vanilla ice cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease to 8×8 in baking dishes and line them with parchment paper, allowing 1-inch wings to hang over all 4 edges.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, 3/4 c of the tahini, the eggs, and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to combine.  Divide the mixture between the two baking dishes and spread it out evenly with a spatula or your hands.

Bake until the center is just set.  Begin checking for doneness at 23 minutes.  Cool the pans completely.

While the blondies cool, allow the ice cream to soften at room temperature to a spreadable consistency.

Using an offset spatula, spread the softened ice cream evenly over one of the blondies while it’s still in the pan.  Drizzle on the remaining 1/2 c tahini and use the spatula to swirl it into the ice cream.  Place the other blondie on top of the ice cream and freeze for 4 hours, until the ice cream is firm.

Using the parchment wing, lift the whole thing out of the pan and onto a cutting board.  Use a sharp knife to trim the edges (if desired, this isn’t necessary) and cut it into 1 1/2-to-2-inch squares.

Wrap individually in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and store in the freezer.  Dip in sprinkles right before serving, if desired.