DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ALMOND ICE-CREAM

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

This is my new favorite ice-cream flavour. I renounce all previous claims stating otherwise.

I’m not much of a sweets gal, but this hits all the right spots. Helping me get through those bad days. Those days when we wonder if the pandemic is over. Those days when we realize we really do love our family, but could they all maybe just leave the house for a few hours? Those days when we become scared at the thought that we won’t be able to live in these stretchy pants forever. And the worst days are the ones when we wonder if we can actually hug our peeps again.

Well that was depressing. Now lets talk about ice-cream.

I’ve been pretty busy lately, working a lot on my online classes and updating some old recipes. I haven’t really developed anything new. This flavour came about by accident last week, as most of my ice-cream flavours do. I had made my normal vanilla base of which I was going to add something to at some point. But this time, I needed chocolate. So I threw in some cocoa, added some chocolate and almonds and boom, perfection was churned.

Well, actually it wasn’t. After about 20 minutes, I noticed that it was not freezing. Remember everyone, I live in Mexico. When a non-necessary appliance like an ice-cream maker dies, you can’t just call the manufacturer or go to Walmart to get another one. My machine is almost 10 years old, came in a suitcase from Ontario, and I have treasured it every moment since it arrived in my kitchen. When my husband brought it home I actually asked why. (I’m one of those people who gets so excited about a new appliance, only to use it once or twice, and then it collects dust and I feel bad. I know I’m not alone. I was worried this would turn into that).

I was wrong. We have been churning ice-cream in this beauty non-stop. We sold it at our store when we had it, and now we just make it for ourselves and our friends. So you can imagine my dismay when I peered in and saw nothing happening.

I called my husband. I started to fret. He asked me all the usual questions: was the bowl in the freezer long enough? Yes. Was the mixture chilled? Yes. Has it been churning long enough? Yes. He was convinced that it was human error (meaning my fault) and that the bowl had not seen its last days. I wanted him to be wrong, but I also wanted him to be right. Ugg.

He was right. I must have done something wrong because the next time I tried to churn this, it worked beautifully again. Whew! My favorite appliance lives! And now I will share my latest happiness with you.

You can use other nuts besides almonds, if you want, but in my opinion, almonds are the perfect choice. Plus you can save some of this beauty and sprinkle on top!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bars
  • 3/4 cup chopped almonds

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium size saucepan over medium heat, whisk and warm whipping cream, milk, sugar and cocoa until sugar and cocoa are dissolved and mixture is warm. In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks together. When mixture on stove is warm to the touch, whisk a little of the cream mixture slowly into the egg yolks until combined. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan. Stir with a flat bottomed wooden spoon until the mixture coats the back of the spoon so that when you run your finger over it, it leaves a line. Take off heat. Pour through a sieve into a bowl. Add vanilla. Stir and let cool. Cover. Refrigerate overnight.

Put chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Start with 30 seconds. Take out and stir. Repeat in 15 second increments until chocolate is melted and smooth. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Spread chocolate evenly over pan. Chop almonds. Sprinkle almonds over melted chocolate. Put in the freezer until frozen.

Churn ice-cream in your machine. During the last five minutes of churning, add chocolate in chunks of any size you desire. Transfer to freezable container. Freeze.

roasted strawberry buttermilk ice-cream

When my good friend in Edmonton suggested this flavour, I was anxious to try it. I had never roasted strawberries before, only vegetables. I just couldn’t seem to process how they would turn out. But I knew I had to try.

It was super simple, just tossed the beautiful berries in a little sugar and roasted them in the oven for about 30 minutes. They came out with a heightened sweetness and a softer texture and a deep, rich flavour. I could drink that juice.

Combined with the buttermilk which makes everything creamier, this is a new flavour that will be on rotation in our house.

We can’t buy buttermilk here in the Mayan Riviera, so I have put an option of how to make your own. It’s quite simple. It may not be as thick and creamy as the buttermilk you can buy back in USA and Canada, but it does the trick and I make it all the time for recipes.

Happy churning!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar, separated
  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk , OR 1 1/2 cups whole milk with 1 TAB vinegar. Leave on counter 5 minutes before using
  • 3 egg yolks, room temperature

DIRECTIONS:

Cut strawberries in half and toss with 1/4 cup sugar. Place on a oven safe pan and roast in a 350° oven for about 25-30 minutes, stirring once. Remove from oven and let cool.

Place strawberries in a blender and crush until liquified, about 10-20 seconds. Remove and strain through a fine mesh sieve.

Combine whipping cream, milk, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in a saucepan on medium heat. Warm mixture until sugar is melted, about 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk egg yolks. When mixture in saucepan is warm, slowly pour some into the egg yolks, whisking until combined. Pour this mixture back into saucepan and with a flat bottomed wooden spoon, stir constantly until mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool slightly.

Pour ice cream mixture into berry juice and stir or whisk well to combine. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Churn in your ice cream maker. Transfer to freezer and freeze.

Makes 1 1/2 – 2 litres.

Bananas foster ice-cream

Making a new ice-cream flavour every week is fun. It’s probably the only area I really enjoy inventing. And the options are endless! Plus, it’s forcing me to work on my ice-cream photography. Not fun, but hopefully eventually helpful in producing mouth-watering pictures.

This scoop may not look any different than most regular ice-creams, but the flavour in this is fantastic. Why shouldn’t it be? Butter, rum, bananas – win-win. The rum makes it ever so scoop-able too. Not sure if you know, but if you have ever made your own home-made ice-cream you’ll know it can come out of the freezer hard as a rock. That is because it doesn’t have all those preservatives in it that store bought ice-cream has. But adding even a little alcohol to the mixture before you churn it helps with that problem. If your ice-cream doesn’t already have alcohol in it, then add a little vodka to it, which has not flavour and will help keep it a little softer.

Last autumn, we rented a big house for a weekend and threw our daughter a graduation party. For our Sunday morning brunch, I wanted to set up a waffle bar. I had pre-made and froze the waffles so that on Sunday morning, we simply had to re-warm meaning more time visiting with our friends. We had whipped cream, strawberries, syrup, and last but not least: bananas foster was the luxury item to top the waffles. I skipped the syrup and just covered mine with those lovely rummed up bananas. So when the suggestion came to make it an ice-cream flavour, I was all over it.

The ice -cream itself is just my regular vanilla flavour. The bananas foster is made separately, cooled, and layered in after the ice-cream is churned. Make sure your bananas aren’t too mushy before you cook them, as the rum and butter will soften them.

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 bananas, sliced
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 TAB butter
  • 3 TAB rum

DIRECTIONS:

Combine whipping cream, milk, and sugar in a medium pot over medium heat. Stir every so often to warm liquids and ensure sugar melts. In a separate bowl, place 3 egg yolks. When liquid mixture is warm, pour over the egg yolks whisking together. Pour that small mixture back into the pot and with a flat bottomed wooden spoon, stir until liquid thickens and coats the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Take off heat. Add vanilla. Pour through fine sieve into a bowl and let cool. Cover and refrigerate over-night.

In a large saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and sugar together, stirring until sugar dissolves and mixture is bubbly. Add rum, stir to combine, then bring to a simmer on medium heat. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add bananas and cook for about 2 minutes, coating bananas with sauce and flipping them about halfway. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Churn ice-cream. When complete, transfer half of soft ice-cream into a wide (not tall) ice-cream safe container. Layer bananas foster on top. Cover with remaining ice-cream. Transfer to freezer.

Makes about 2 litres.

mixed berry cheesecake ice cream

So…. funny story.

I made Rocky Road ice-cream the other day. I found about a cup of Canadian mini-marshmallows in my fridge and knew I had to make one of my favorite flavours of ice-cream to put them to good use. Marshmallows here in Mexico aren’t of the greatest quality. I haven’t seen a bag of plain white marshmallows for over a year, and even if you pick the white ones out of the bag of pink and yellow, they still taste funny. So simple as it may sound for you, good marshmallows are a treat for us.

I made the ice-cream Friday morning. I wanted it to freeze as much as possible before I scooped and took a picture. You see, I already have nature against me with an average temperature of 30 degrees and humidity so high I can’t count.

I went to take a picture. I didn’t love it. I put everything back and thought I will do tomorrow. I didn’t think I had to warn anybody not to eat it as it was only 3 PM.

I was wrong.

By 5 PM the majority of it was gone. I was not impressed. There were barely 3 scoops left, certainly not enough to get a decent scoop to take a picture of before it melts into a puddle of cream and marshmallows.

In my irritated state, I thought I will make a flavour that nobody will bother to steal or bug me about. Now don’t get me wrong, every flavour of ice-cream is consumed and enjoyed in our house; however there are definitely preferences. And usually the ones with fruit don’t win out.

I used to make this recipe and sell it in our little cafe. I’m sure I lost money on it. It was considered one of the premium flavours: full of cream cheese, berries (which don’t come cheap here), and graham cracker crust. I had not made it in a few years so thought I would go for it.

Earlier in the day my husband asked where his soup mix was. I claimed I had no idea what he was talking about. After about an hour, he shows me a jar of what I thought was graham cracker crumbs. He says “it seems you put your graham crumbs on top of my soup mix”. Oops. I thought it was just darker graham crumbs. Is there even such a thing?

I don’t like to waste food so thought I would try to use those crumbs for the crust part of the ice-cream. I mixed in the butter and sugar, baked, and let cool. Came back an hour later. Awful. They had totally absorbed the flavour of the soup mix. I actually spit it out it was so bad. So, it got trashed and had to be done again. Thankfully, I had some whole graham crackers in the pantry and the second time was successful.

It is only the middle of May here and the heat has already been quite unbearable. I’m not sure if it’s because we are quarantined and can’t get to the beach or the mall or what. But it reminded me the other day that I need to have ice-cream around more often now.

I did a poll on Instagram on Saturday and got great ideas from a lot of you for flavours of ice-cream that I am going to try. I am aiming for one new flavour a week. Any more than that and the photography of said flavours will make me go mad.

This one is bright and creamy and crunchy all at the same time. It’s worth the time that goes into it, I promise. It’s best if you don’t throw the additions into the machine, instead layer them. After the ice cream base is churned, pour half the base into a freezer safe pan. Then layer on the berry slurry.

Then add the crumbled graham crust.

Then add the remaining ice cream and freeze until firm, 4-6 hours.

Worth the work, trust me. And I only got asked twice if the ice-cream was ready to eat before I tried to photograph. A new family record.

INGREDIENTS:

BERRY SWIRL:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen berries (I used blueberries and blackberries)
  • 3 TABS sugar
  • 1 TAB cornstarch
  • 1 TAB water
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed for juice

GRAHAM CRUST:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 TABS sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

ICE CREAM:

  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 – 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed for juice

DIRECTIONS:

SWIRL: In a small saucepan, crush the berries. Add sugar. Turn on to medium heat and bring to a boil. While waiting, combine water and cornstarch. When berries are bubbling, add cornstarch mixture and stir for one minute as it thickens up. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Transfer to bowl and chill.

GRAHAM CRUST: Preheat oven to 375. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture into a thin, even layer on the bottom of a greased baking sheet. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Break crust into pieces and chill.

ICE CREAM: Put softened cream cheese and lemon juice in a medium size bowl. Put egg yolks in another bowl.

In a medium sized pot, combine whipping cream, milk, and sugar. On medium heat, stir and warm through but do not let simmer. When cream mixture is warm, pour about a cup into egg yolks. Pour egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan and stir constantly with a flat bottomed wooden spoon until mixture can coat the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Pour this mixture through a fine strainer over cream cheese mixture. Whisk until cream cheese is incorporated. Let cool. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Churn liquid mixture according to your machine. When finished, transfer half of mixture into a freezer safe dish. Layer berry slurry and crumbled graham crust and then pour the remaining ice cream on top. Freeze until firm.

Makes about 2 litres.

Vanilla Ice-Cream with Chocolate Peppermint Chunks

I understand that businesses thrive on seasonal items, but I’ve got to say, it makes me crazy when I just want something that is ‘out of season’ and I know it’ll be impossible to get it. This is how I felt about a particular flavour of ice-cream known as President’s Choice Candy Cane Chocolate Fudge Crackle.

If you know me, you know I’m not much of a sweets gal. But I’ve allllwwways loved that flavour. I would anxiously await for it to arrive in stores, usually mid-November every year for the holiday season. If my girlfriend saw it before me, she would call and say run, I saw it at Zehr’s here in Barrie, go now!

I just love the combination of peppermint and chocolate fudge crackle as they call it. It is definitely one of the things that I have missed having in the time we’ve been in Mexico.

About a month ago, in March, I randomly came across a bag of crushed candy canes. I was looking for something like this from December to February, but i couldn’t even find regular and normal candy canes! It seemed they had all these other colours and flavours when I just wanted the classic. And then, lo and behold, when I wasn’t even looking for them, I found this glorious bag of evenly crushed candy canes. Why didn’t I buy 5 bags? Ug. I only bought one.

Last week I finally had the time to make myself this ice-cream. I simply melted some milk and dark chocolate bars, spread the chocolate on a baking sheet, sprinkled about 1/3 of the bag on top, and froze. About a half hour later, i started breaking them up and they looked like this.

peppermintchocolate

I broke them up into smaller chunks before tossing them into my ice cream so it wouldn’t cram my machine, but frankly, i could have totally managed eating chunks that size.

I don’t have to tell you that homemade is better than store bought. And now you don’t have to wait for the pesky stores to decide when you can enjoy this delicious flavour! You can have it allllll summer long.

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 TAB vanilla
  • 6 milk or dark chocolate chocolate bars or a combination of both
  • about 3/4 cup crushed candy canes ( use more or less as per your liking)

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium size saucepan over medium heat, whisk and warm whipping cream, milk, and sugar until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm. In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks together. When mixture on stove is warm to the touch, whisk a little of the cream mixture slowly into the egg yolks until combined. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan. Stir with a flat bottomed wooden spoon until the mixture coats the back of the spoon so that when you run your finger over it, it leaves a line. Take off heat. Pour through a sieve into a bowl. Add vanilla. Stir and let cool. Cover. Refrigerate over-night.

Chop chocolate and melt in a microwave. Start with 30 seconds. Take out and stir. Repeat in 15 second increments until chocolate is melted and smooth. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Spread chocolate evenly over pan. Sprinkle desired amount of crushed candy canes on top. Stick in the freezer until frozen.

Churn ice-cream in your machine. During the last five minutes of churning, add chocolate in chunks of any size you desire. Transfer to freezable container. Freeze.

Makes about 2 litres.

Bourbon Apple Pie Ice Cream

The air is turning cooler, the leaves are changing color, pumpkin spice is on every coffee shop menu, and the apple orchards are in full swing.

Not here in Mexico, of course, but for the majority of you readers, these words ring true.

I miss autumn.  A few years ago I went home to visit a friend who was going through a rough time.  We spent a week together supporting each other and doing what good friends do when times are tough: talk, laugh, cry, and perhaps drink a little wine.  Perhaps.  A little.

My only request that week where we had a lot to accomplish was that we go somewhere so that I could see some gorgeous leaves in all their glory.  It had been yeeeeears since I had seen any in person and it just so happened that I went back at the perfect time of year for autumn leaves viewing.   So, in the midst of all our tasks, we took some time out and found a place to enjoy autumn in all its glory.

The day we went was a gorgeous day, bright blue sky,  leaves in that perfect shade of yellow that I love so much, some on trees, some on the ground.  We took a walk together and enjoyed everything that the day had to offer: beauty, friendship, life.

Food is so interwoven into our memories and relationships.  When I think of strawberry and apple picking, I think of my young children, seeing food in their natural state, working to get it, and then bringing it home and helping to prepare how we get to enjoy it.  When I think of pies, I remember having bushels of apples and being frightened to make pie crust, and a wonderful lady in my life giving me tips and pointers that put me on the path to making 20 apple pies in a day that were frozen and then enjoyed all winter long.

I could go on and on.  I’m sure you all have your own memories and stories, ones that make you smile.

For me, memories of autumn bring on memories of apples more than anything.  And considering I’m always looking for new ice-cream ideas, the obvious choices for these next few months are apple and pumpkin. I started with apple.

I did a poll on Instagram and asked the people if they thought I should add pie crust or cookies for a crunch.  It was a very close call, cookies won only by 2 votes.  I’m not sure why I did a poll, actually.   I didn’t really want to do cookies; after all, it’s ‘apple pie ice-cream’, and apple pie has a beautiful, flaky crust, not cookies.  But I wanted to hear what people thought.  The clincher wasn’t just my preference, it was also the fact that I got a few direct messages from people saying ‘ignore the cookie people, they’re wrong’.  I laughed, and inwardly agreed.

I don’t really like making pie crust, so when I do, I always make extra and keep it frozen.  You can find my no-fail pie crust recipe here.  I defrosted it, rolled it out, added some cinnamon and sugar, baked it, cooled it, and then crumbled it in.  I love it, it’s perfect.  If you want cookies, go ahead.  Or of course you can omit the pie crust completely if you want, but we almost always put some sort of crunch into our ice-cream.

If any ice-cream screams autumn, it’s this one.  Okay, and maybe the Pumpkin one I’ll be testing next.

Guess you’ll just have to make them both and let me know which you prefer.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 3 apples, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 pie crust (recipe found here).
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 TAB cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium saucepan, warm cream, milk, and sugar until warm and sugar is melted.  In a separate bowl, whisk 5 egg yolks together.  When milk mixture is warm and steamy, pour a little into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so as to not cook eggs.  Pour egg yolk mixture back into saucepan and whisk to combine.   Stir continuously with a flat bottom wooden spoon until mixture thickens and coats the spoon so that it leaves a line when you run your finger through it, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Strain mixture into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve.  Add bourbon and combine.  Let cool to room temperature and then cover and refrigerate overnight.

Peel and dice apples.  In a medium saucepan, melt butter.  Add apples and cinnamon and cook until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.  Refrigerate until ice-cream is churned.

For pie crust addition.  Take half a disc of pie crust.  In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1 TAB cinnamon.  Sprinkle on both sides of pie crust.  Bake in 350° oven for 12-15 minutes or until baked and flaky.  Remove from oven.  Cool.  Crumble into small pieces.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Churn ice cream according to manufacturers directions.  In the last five minutes, add apples and pie crust.  Transfer into freezable container.

Makes about 2 pints.

 

Limoncello Lemon Curd Ice-Cream

I am going to try and not make this post ramble on and dart from this story to that, but I’m very afraid I won’t be able to do that.  Why?  Because I’ll be speaking of lemons.  And Limoncello.  Which means Italy.  And this time specifically the Amalfi coast.  And we all know what happens when I go there.

When we moved to Mexico almost ten years ago now, there were no lemons.  That was a hard one for me.  True, limes, oranges and other citrus were in abundance, but it’s just not the same as lemons.  What would I do for the zest in my cheesecake crust? What about the tang in my salad? Never mind just keeping them in my glass jar because they look so pretty on a counter.

Sigh.  It wasn’t easy.  Sometimes I felt like the contestants on Survivor who sit and talk about the food that they miss from back home and what they would eat when the game was over.  This was what we did with lemons.

Costco started selling them a few years back, but of course, in bulk size.  While this made me very excited at first, I soon forgot how the Mexican humidity doesn’t allow any produce to last very long, so a huge bag of lemons was not going to last as long as I wanted.   This was actually an easy problem to solve, as there were always friends who would gladly share a bag.  Happy days returned, and lemons were back in my life.

I had been to the Amalfi coast in Italy, which is not far from Naples, when I was single and in my early twenties.  We ended up in a beautiful little hotel in Sorrento and spent some time roaming Positano.  I had never been anywhere so delightful.  Small streets, huge smiles, delicious food, and lest we forget, large lemons.  I had never seen them so large.  They were beautiful and everywhere and their smell fills the streets.

I never forgot Amalfi.  In fact, when we were planning our 20th anniversary trip last year, my husband kept reminding me that the only two places I never stopped talking about was Santorini, and the Amalfi coast.  He wanted to try and see both.

And see both we did.  And neither disappointed.  Those roads of the Amalfi coast provide vistas that can’t compare.

amalfi2

The flowers, the houses, the water against that sky.  It’s a place that you leave a little bit of your heart at and must go back to get it.

amalfi1

Because of the superfluous amounts of lemons, there were also hundreds of varieties of Limoncello.  If you have never seen or tried it, Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur that is made using, of course, lemons, and either grappa or vodka.  It is extremely popular in the Amalfi coast and southern Italy, including Capri.  It is served cold and is light, refreshing, tangy, and sweet all at once.

I was amazed when I returned to the Amalfi coast last year at the variety of Limoncello. The first time I was there I was much younger and had not grown in my appreciation for certain liqueurs, so this time I was much more ready and interested.   I will say sadly, I am not too great at differentiating slight tastes like my husband is.  While walking down one beautiful little street in Sorrento, we were offered taste after taste of Limoncello.  (Yes, I know, rough afternoon).   Each store owner would tell us ‘my family makes the BEST Limoncello!’ and so of course we had to find out for ourselves.  While I got confused by the tastes rather quickly, my husband knew which brand he liked and why, and finally chose the bottles to bring home.

It’s quite comforting to open the freezer where the Limoncello is stored and see a bright burst of yellow shining out at you.  Everyone needs some sunshine shining out from their freezer, don’t you think?

This past summer we didn’t make it to the Amalfi, but we taste tested more Limoncello in Rome and brought some home again.  When I asked my visiting Italian friends from Toronto this week what ice-cream flavors I should make and the husband said “have you ever tried Limoncello?”,  I was actually ashamed of myself that not only have I not yet tried it, I had never even thought of it.  Shame on me.

So last week I made my first Limoncello ice-cream.  Since I love lemon so much I thought why not throw some lemon curd in there? Looks pretty and who doesn’t want as much lemony taste as you can get?

It’s such a light and refreshing ice-cream and it did to me what food should do at times: brought back a flood of wonderful memories, tastes, sounds, and sights.  Even if you’ve never been to Italy or the Amalfi coast, I promise you’ll love this refreshing and unique ice-cream.

You might just feel about it the way I did about the Amalfi coast.

amalfi3

LIMONCELLO LEMON CURD ICE-CREAM

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup Limoncello
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

LEMON CURD:

  • 3 lemons
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 lb unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • juice from the 3 lemons
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

DIRECTIONS:

ICE CREAM:

In a medium saucepan on medium heat, warm cream, milk, and sugar together until steamy.  In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks.  When milk mixture is steamy, pour a little into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so as to not cook eggs.  Pour egg yolk mixture back into saucepan and whisk to combine.   Add Limoncello and lemon juice.  Stir continuously with a flat bottom wooden spoon until mixture thickens and coats the spoon so that it leaves a line when you run your finger through it, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Strain mixture into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve.  Let cool to room temperature and then cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, churn ice cream according to manufacturers directions.  After churning, pour half of the ice cream into a loaf pan or similar dish.  Drop lemon curd by the spoonful all over the ice cream and using a knife, swirl it in.  Pour remaining ice cream on top and repeat to create a pretty design on the top.  Freeze ice-cream a few hours.

**Note: You will have extra lemon curd, I did not use all mine.  I had about 1/3 of it leftover but it’s really up to you how much lemon you want. As you can see from the picture I could have put way more in.

CURD:

Zest the lemons and place zest in a food processor.  Add sugar and pulse until minced well together.

Cream the butter for about 2 minutes until nice and light, add sugar and lemon mixture.  Add eggs one at a time and then add lemon juice and salt.  Mix until combined.

Pour mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened, about 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly.  The lemon curd will thicken quickly after 5 minutes so you must keep stirring.  Remove from heat.

Strain curd through a sieve if you don’t want any chunks of zest in your curd (I did this for the ice cream).  Let cool and refrigerate.

 

Makes about 2 pints.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiramisu ice-cream

When I posted this on Instagram yesterday, I had a few people, even close friends, shocked at the fact that I am not a fan of Tiramisu, the dessert.  I’m not sure why.  Let’s analyze.

I like coffee, but I don’t LOVE coffee.  I can live without it.  Same goes for Kahlua, the coffee-flavored liquor.  I can’t say that I don’t like ladyfingers, they are quite good, but don’t you think it’s a bit suspicious how fast they crumble into mush when immersed in coffee?  Like literally, you drop them in for 2 seconds, flip, 2 seconds, and somehow they are now mush.  It makes me wonder.

So why did I attempt a tiramisu ice-cream? My Montreal foodie friend first suggested it a few months back.  Unfortunately, the week she was visiting became the week of insanity:  my elderly father fell and broke 5 ribs, I burned my hand, my mother also fell, and my son blew his eyebrows off in a heater-lighting incident.  Needless to say, we never got around to making this flavor.

But, I never forgot about it either.

Recently I went to a school for 6 days that was supported by volunteers.  One of the organizers and his wife worked tirelessly, organizing, feeding, cleaning …. the list goes on.  What is one of their favorite desserts? Tiramisu.   Being a non-tiramisu lover, I thought twice about making a version that probably wouldn’t be as great as ones they’ve had before.  Next natural choice? Ice-cream.

I was worried as I tried to come up with the measurements for this because, well, if I don’t like tiramisu, how am I going to properly taste-test this? We do what we must. Also, my husband, a coffee lover, was always available to assist and advise.

I mostly didn’t know how to or if I even should add the mush ladyfingers, so I messaged one of my Italian friends back home.  Believe it or not, she was actually at an ice-cream stand with a tiramisu flavor when I messaged her.  How’s that for friendship? She literally sent me a picture of the ice-cream in front of her and asked the owner his thoughts on this question.  I wish she could be my personal life assistant, that woman knows how to get things done, even when she doesn’t plan it.

I ended up putting the soaked ladyfingers in, but in order for them not to completely dissolve in the ice-cream, I added them in a layer in the middle like this:

tiramisu2

I tried adding one to the churned ice-cream and it turned to, you guessed it, mush.  When you lay them in this way, you get a larger chunk of the soaked ladyfingers in your scoop, which, to me, makes it real tiramisu.

This flavor is FANTASTIC. I love it. It’s my new favorite.  The mascarpone cheese makes it so creamy, the alcohol makes it scoop-able, and that hit of soaked ladyfingers brings it all together.

Try it, you may like it even better than the dessert itself!

And now I need to go and make more because this was so good that we may have eaten it all and my hard-working friends didn’t get any.  Oops.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups mascarpone cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 shots espresso, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 ladyfingers
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium saucepan on medium heat, warm whipping cream and sugar.  In the meantime, whisk egg yolks in a small bowl.  When liquid mixture is warm, slowly whisk a small amount into the egg yolks and whisk until tempered and combined.  Pour egg yolks and cream back into pot and stir regularly with a flat-bottomed wooden spoon until mixture coats the spoon and leaves a line when you run your finger through it.  Take off heat.

In a bowl, combine mascarpone, vanilla, and two espresso shots.  Pour warm cream mixture through a fine mesh strainer into mascarpone mixture.  Whisk if there are any lumps.  Let cool.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Churn ice-cream according to manufacturers directions.  When finished, pour half the mixture into an ice-cream safe container.  Combine Kahlua and 1 espresso shot together.  Dip ladyfingers very briefly on each side.  Cut into pieces and layer on top of ice-cream.  (If you like, pour remaining liquid from ladyfingers into ice cream).  Pour remaining ice cream on top and freeze a few hours, covered.

Makes about 2 pints.

Lavender Earl Grey Ice-Cream

I have wanted to make lavender ice-cream for soooooooooooo long.  Every picture I had seen intrigued me: the color, the flavor.  Maybe because purple is my favorite color?  Because I’ve always wanted to run through fields of lavender? Because I’m interested to know who first thought of using lavender in cooking?  Shall I go on?

I set off on a hunt for lavender here in Mexico, truthfully, with no expectations.  So imagine my surprise when I found an extra-large bag of it in one of the specialty stores in town that caters to restaurants!!!  But there was no price on it.  In my experience, that usually isn’t a good sign.  When I found out the price, I saw that it was a TAD over my budget.  And anyway, did I really need 20 cups of dried lavender? (That’s what I said to comfort myself).  I’m always afraid that the Mexican humidity is going to ruin things here so it’s rare i buy things in bulk.  Unless they’re canned of course.

So my trusty next visitor came to the rescue.  Fortunate for me, it was my Montreal foodie buddy, so the request for lavender would more likely be met with “oooo what are you doing with it?” instead of ‘where-ever am I supposed to find that?”

I was right. She was happy to find it for me, and interested in what I was going to do with it.    I must say, when she did arrive, I was happy to see her, but inside was wondering if she had remembered to bring it? When could I ask? As I was hugging her hello?  Would that be rude?  I held off and was rewarded.  Besides, she used to live here too, so she knows the joy and sometimes impatience that comes with waiting for presents and treats from home and wanted to put me out of my misery.

I only wish she didn’t break my heart by moving away that I could have taste-tested this with her.  Sigh.  There’s just never enough time.

I had seen a lot of recipe with lavender and honey, which I also used and lessened the amount of refined sugar, but the idea of the tea intrigued me, mostly because my husband loves when things are ‘less sweet’, so any ingredient that might have that effect gets noted.

The result was … perfect.  I don’t know why it turned out so smooth and swirly, but I’m not complaining.  I added purple food coloring because yes, it is my favorite color, but of course, you don’t have to, it’s just for looks.

Then again, we do a lot of things for looks, don’t we?  We clean ourselves up every day to look presentable.  I painted my daughter’s nursery when she was born purple because I could.

So I’m keeping the purple.  That way if anybody tries to steal the last bite they can’t say “but I didn’t know it was yours mom!”.

They’ll just know.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 TAB dried lavender
  • 2 earl grey tea bags
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 5 egg yolks

DIRECTIONS:

Boil 1 cup of water.  Add lavender and tea bags to it and let steep for about an hour.  Strain out lavender and remove tea bags and let cool if tea is still warm.  You should be left with about 2/3 cup of liquid.

In a medium saucepan, heat cream, milk, and sugar until it starts to simmer around the edges.  In a separate bowl, whisk the 5 egg yolks.  Slowly pour about 1/2 cup of hot liquid into the yolks, whisking constantly.  Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan and, stirring constantly with a flat-bottomed wooden spoon, cook about 7-8 minutes, or until liquid coats the back of the spoon (run your finger through it and if it leaves a line, it’s done).  Remove from heat.  Add honey and tea/lavender liquid.  Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.

Churn ice cream as directed.  Transfer mixture to freezer safe dish and cover.

Makes 2 pints.

 

 

Strawberry Basil Almond Ice-Cream

Have you bought an ice-cream maker yet?  What is holding you back? The money?

Think of this though.  Unless you are buying the cheapest of cheapest ice-cream which, let’s face it, is never that great, you will be saving money.  Making your own food almost ALWAYS means you are saving money.

Here’s another thought: haven’t you ever just wanted to try some of these gourmet flavors that you see? You can, and not pay $6 for a scoop, per person.  And don’t be afraid, making ice-cream is easier than baking, never requires an oven to be turned on, and can remain in the fridge for weeks until it’s all gone.

I have a Cuisinart machine that my husband bought for me probably 6 or 7 years ago.  It still works great.  I have noticed that newer machines look a little fancier these days.  My mom has the attachment bowl for her Kitchen-Aid mixer.  Both work fine.  Except for the fact that I’v never learned how to attach her bowl to her stand, they are equally effective.

I mean, comon, where-ever are you going to find a flavor like Strawberry Basil in the store?  What about some of the other flavors I’ve posted like Ricotta Pine-Nut Brittle, Irish Cream Fudge, or the ever popular S’mores, with real ingredients at a fraction of the cost?  I’ve only begun in the long list of ice-cream recipes.

Before the summer is over, buy one.  You won’t regret it.

This recipe might be the first one you should try.  There are no eggs, no cooking, just simple ingredient combining and churning.  What could be easier than that? Especially with all of you people up north enjoying fresh strawberry season?  Yum.

Sometimes I put colouring in my ice-cream but in this one I left it alone.  I liked seeing the fleck of green basil and the chunks of strawberries, instead of the solid color red denoting strawberries.  But you can add it if you please and want to thoroughly convince people that it is full of strawberries.

Did you know that adding a small amount of alcohol to your ice cream base results in a better texture when it’s churned?  Why? Because alcohol doesn’t freeze. The alcohol prevents some of the ice crystals from forming, which makes the ice cream softer and therefore more scoop-able.  Trust me, add it.  There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting ice-cream but having it be hard as a rock and come out in chunks.

Don’t like nuts in your ice-cream? Leave them out.  Remember, it’s up to you what you add in at the end!

And have a very happy, sweet, refreshing, (and cheaper) summer!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/12 lbs fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • zest of a lime
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted almonds
  • 1 TAB vodka *optional

DIRECTIONS:

In a blender, add whipping cream, milk, sugar, zest, 1 lb strawberries, and basil leaves.  Process until very smooth.

Turn ice-cream maker on and add to bowl.

In the meantime, chop remaining 1/2 lb strawberries into bite-size pieces.  Coarsely or finely chop almonds, however you prefer.

In the last few minutes of churning, add remaining strawberries and almonds and  mix until combined.

Turn machine off and transfer ice-cream to a container and keep covered in freezer.

 

Makes 2 pints.