Fresh Raspberry Ice Cream

12 08 2009

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Being a boy from Utah, there are a few things that spell summer to me.  1) The 4th of July’s Stadium of Fire in Provo (which always includes at least one Osmond), 2) a hike to Donut Falls in Millcreek canyon, 3) camping in the Uinta mountains, and 4) fresh raspberry ice cream and shakes in Bear Lake.  So, when I got my new Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Attachment (so freaking excited) I knew raspberry ice cream had to be the maiden voyage.

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Ice cream is actually pretty simple to make.  Milk, cream, eggs, sugar.  Done!  Then you can add some flavor… or just vanilla.

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For me though, the secret to great ice cream is to make a custard out of the eggs.  Some people either use raw eggs, or omit them all together.  But to me, there are few things more delicious than an egg custard.  It just creates this rich full flavor that makes it so French!

All you do is heat the milk and cream.

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Add egg yolks to a mixing bowl.

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Add sugar and beat the yolks until they are light yellow.  And add the hot milk/cream slowly while the egg/sugar mixture is beating.  Return to the pan and heat until thick.

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Strain to remove any cooked egg yolk.  And there, you’re done.  You’ve just made an egg custard.  It’s so simple and really good.

Then you are ready to add your flavoring…

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I… of course chose fresh raspberries.

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Just throw them into a food processer, make a puree…

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You can add raspberry flavor (I chose Framboise)… or vanilla.  NOTE: Framboise is a liqueur but has the same alcohol amount as vanilla.  So… if you only use 2 teaspoons of Framboise, it’s basically the same alcohol content as using 2 teaspoons of vanilla.  That’s my justification. 🙂

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Strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve to get out all the seeds.

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Crush a small amount with a fork so you can have a few chunks in your ice cream…

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Add your egg custard to the puree and chill until very cold…

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Then add to the ice cream maker until it’s thick and ice creamy.  This one takes a bit of time, but if you have kids they will LOVE doing this with you.  Don’t forget to add the fresh raspberry chunks during the final 1-2 minutes of freezing or you’ll have frozen raspberries gumming up your paddles.

This is SO GOOD and tastes fresh and light (even though it’s technically not light at all).

Fresh Raspberry Ice Cream

Serves 16

Ingredients

2 1/2 c half-and-half

8 egg yolks

1 c sugar

2 1/2 c whipping cream

1/8 t salt

3 pints fresh raspberries

2 t Framboise

Directions

  1. In medium saucepan, heat half-and-half until very hot but not boiling, stirring often.  Remove from heat; set aside.
  2. Place egg yolks and sugar in mixer bowl.  Mix about 2 minutes until well blended and slightly thickened.
  3. Gradually add hot half-and-half until blended.  Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat until small bubbles form around edge and mixture is steamy stirring constantly.  Take off heat and transfer to large bowl stirring in whipping cream and salt.
  4. Add 2 1/2 pints of raspberries (reserving 1/2 pint in a bowl) and Framboise to a food processor.  Pulse until berries are completely pureed.
  5. Strain puree through a fine mesh strainer.  Add to milk mixture to create your ice cream base.
  6. Place ice cream base in refrigerator and chill overnight (8 hours).
  7. Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions.
  8. Mash remaining raspberries in bowl.  Add to ice cream maker 1-2 minutes before freezing is complete.

Good luck and good eating!

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Georgia Peach Pie

16 07 2009

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This is why I run three miles a day!  I love SUGAR!!  I’m an addict.  I can’t get enough of it.  Just ask Steve, he has to deal with this on a daily basis.  So when I was at Whole Foods a few days ago, and I saw fresh Georgia peaches, I decided it was time to try making my first peach pie.  And another attempt at making a homemade pie crust.  The results were spectacular!

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For the filling, I peeled five medium peaches.  I’m using a 10-inch Le Creuset pie dish so I should have used twice that much, but it was my first time, right?  The easiest way to peel a peach is to 1) grab a saucepan to boil some water and a grab a big bowl and fill with ice and water, 2) throw your peaches into the boiling water for 30 seconds, 3) immediately transfer the peaches into the ice bath, and 4) the peel will practically fall off the peach.  Cut each peach into segments and mix with flour and sugar, a few spices, and you’re golden.

For the crust, I decided to follow my idol Ina Garten’s (Barefoot Contessa) pie crust recipe.  I’ve watched her make it a hundred times, but I’ve always been a bit nervous.  Well, as usual she didn’t lead me astray.  It was as easy as can be and it was the best crust I’ve ever tasted.

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When I put the pie into the dish, it looked a bit “rustic” (that’s a pastry chef’s term for ugly), but who cares it was my first time.  But the taste was fantastic!  I invited a small gaggle of folks over to try it.  It was a hit!!

Georgia Peach Pie

Makes one pie

Ingredients

2 9-inch pie crusts (recipe follows)

1 egg, beaten

5 cups sliced peeled peaches (8-10 medium peaches)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons butter

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. Line the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate with one of the pie crusts. Brush with some of the beaten egg to keep the dough from becoming soggy later.
  3. Place the sliced peaches in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pour over the peaches, and mix gently.
  4. Pour mixture into the pie crust, and dot with butter. Cover with the other pie crust, and fold the edges under. Flute the edges to seal or press the edges with the tines of a fork dipped in egg. Brush the remaining egg over the top crust. Cut several slits in the top crust to vent steam.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is brown and the juice begins to bubble through the vents. If the edges brown to fast, cover them with strips of aluminum foil about halfway through baking. Cool before serving.

Ina Garten’s Perfect Pie Crust

Makes 2 9-inch pie crusts

Ingredients

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening

6 to 8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) ice water

  1. Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture.
  2. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix.
  3. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas.
  4. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball.
  5. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn’t stick to the board.
  7. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust.




Cherries Jubilee

11 07 2009

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So the first thing you’ll notice is that this dish is on fire.  Literally.  With fire comes alcohol.  So if you are against cooking with alcohol, this dish will definitely need to be altered for you.  We’ll discuss that later.  First, let’s talk about how incredible cherries are.

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I was on a mission to make a banana pudding dessert, but when I got to the grocery store, I quickly changed plans when I saw these red babies.  Any dessert that includes bing cherries will be a favorite of mine.  So it was a no-brainer to combine flambed cherries and vanilla ice cream.

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This is a fairly simple dessert.  Cherries, cornstarch, cherry extract, nutmeg, and brandy.  For me, I decided to replace the cherry extract and water with cherry-flavored vodka.  Other recipes use Kirshwasser (a cherry brandy from Germany) but I actually really like the flavor of the cherry vodka in this dish.  Most of the alcohol will cook off, but not all.  So if you don’t want to cook with alcohol, just make this with cherry extract and water, and skip the flambe part.  It will still taste delicious!

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One of the main tools in this dessert is a cherry pitter.  This will run you about $10 and unless you want to slice each cherry in half and pit it yourself, it’s a lifesaver.  Once the cherries are pitted, putting this dish together is easy.

Cherries Jubilee

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 lb bing cherries

1/2 c cherry vodka or water

1 T cornstarch

1/4 c white sugar

1 t cherry extract (if not using cherry vodka)

1/4 c brandy

1 t nutmeg

Directions

  1. Rinse, stem, and pit cherries.
  2. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and vodka or water in a wide saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking until thickened. Stir in the cherries, return to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the cherries from the heat, and stir in the cherry extract. Pour in the brandy, and ignite with a long lighter. Gently shake the pan until the blue flame has extinguished itself. Spoon the cherries over the bowls of ice cream.




Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

8 07 2009

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If you’ve ever dreamed of eating a little bit of heaven, in the shape of a orange and brown pillow, then you’ve dreamed of a pumpkin chocolate-chip cookie.  I grew up with these all over the place.  Utah is the land of cookies.  You know those frosted sugar cookies you see at the grocery store?  Flip them over and see where they are made.  Yep, you guessed it.  Utah.  I guess since people don’t drink there, they need another vice to get through those tough evenings after work.  Sadly, cookies only add to my vices.  But these are worth it.

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When you add the wet ingredients to the bowl, you’ll first notice there’s no butter.  That’s because there’s oil in there.  Sounds sort of cakey, right?  Well that’s because these are as much cake as they are cookies.  Just think… little individual portions of delicious, soft cake.  Are you kidding me??

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The dough is very sticky, almost like a sweet bread dough.  I use a small ice cream scoop to get the dough on the cookie sheet.  Notice I use a Silpat liner on my cookie sheet.  A Silpat is made of silicone (nothing sticks to it) so I use this instead of greasing the cookie sheet.  You can also use parchment paper if you like the bottom of the cookie a little browner.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
  2. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.
  3. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.