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So, this is what I did with those peaches. I peeled them, cut them up, added some raspberries, then added some sugar and water and cooked them. Once they were cool, I blended them with yogurt, then put the mixture into the ice cream machine.

Like the previous time I made frozen yogurt, this had the best consistency right out of the machine– soft and creamy. Once we put it into the freezer, it became hard and difficult to scoop without thawing. But the taste is wonderful– first you taste the tart of the raspberries, then the sweetness of the peaches, and the tang of the yogurt then lingers. yum.

I may need to try a sorbet next. It’s hot out there.

CSA 7/5/2012


From left to right: Curly kale, cucumbers, red onions, purple kohlrabi, radishes, basil, peaches, snap peas (in bag), cabbage.

Love the summer peaches.


The first time I heard about coconut ice cream was from a fellow co-worker, who said he had the best of its kind at a local Thai restaurant. I remember for months I searched in vain for this ice cream. And now I can make my own!

If you liked the Coconut Milk Flan, you’ll love this ice cream. Both these recipes use no cow’s milk, only coconut milk, and the flavor comes out nicely in this recipe. Unlike my friend here, who doesn’t like shredded coconut, I love it and have included it in the ice cream as well as a topping. But you can leave it out if you also don’t like it.

The recipe is adapted from, yet again, Essentials of Asian Cuisine by Corinne Trang.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup shredded coconut
2 13.5-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk (the original recipe calls for 3 cups plus 1 cup of half-and-half)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with a little water

Toast the shredded coconut in a pan until it turns light brown. Allow to cool.
Put the coconut milk and salt in a saucepan and warm over medium heat.
Whisk egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl until thick.
Gradually pour the warmed coconut milk into the egg yolk mixture while whisking to temper the eggs. Pour this all back into the saucepan and stir.
Add the cornstarch mixture and keep stirring until it reaches a thick, custard consistency.
Remove from heat, stir in the shredded coconut and pour into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Pour into ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When serving, top with toasted coconut if desired.

First CSA Share of 2012


From left to right: strawberries, basil, radishes, lettuce, scallions, kale, Swiss chard, beets, collard greens.

Lots of greens in this first share! I’m excited to start the new season. Don’t worry– this year, I’ll spare you the weekly updates and post new shares every month, or if there is something significant to report, from now until October. I’m looking forward to great fruits and vegetables!

This is one of my favorite flavors, and one I can only get at Asian stores. Roasted black sesame ice cream is wonderfully rich and nutty. Gray may not be the most appealing color for ice cream (it’s more like slate), but trust me, it’s delicious.

I almost failed in this attempt. I don’t know whether it was because of the different brand of half-and-half that I normally used, or the sesame, but the boiling point was at a lower temperature than my previous custards, and even though I was constantly stirring, I watched it go from creamy to curdled in a matter of seconds. Following David Lebovitz’s advice in Perfect Scoop, I quickly dumped the mixture in a blender and gave it a whirl. It seemed to return to a custard-like state, but after I churned it, the texture seemed grainy. I’d like to think it was from the ground seeds, but I’m not so sure. The taste was just right, though, and it made for a dense ice cream. It barely lasted a day.

I’m going to have to make it again. When I do, I’ll post a photo.

Adapted from Essentials of Asian Cuisine, by Corinne Trang.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups half-and-half (in retrospect, I should have used 4)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup finely ground black sesame seeds

Combine half-and-half, sugar, and ground sesame seeds in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until lukewarm.

In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks until just combined. Slowly pour the half-and-half mixture into the yolks while whisking to temper them.

Pour this mixture back into the saucepan, and continue to whisk until just thickened. Pour into a clean bowl. Let cool before covering with plastic wrap and storing in the refrigerator overnight.

Pour the custard into your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Bread In a Bucket


We interrupt the monthly ice cream series to introduce a new obsession: bread.

We bought the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, which explains how to make high-moisture dough in large volumes so that you can make bread at a moment’s notice. No kneading is necessary; simply pull off some dough, shape it, let it come to room temperature, and then bake. The rest of the dough is stored in the refrigerator until the next time you wish to bake some bread, up to two weeks.


This is the first effort from this book, the Light Whole Wheat Bread. It turned out beautifully– very crusty with a slight chew.

The only mishap that happened was that I poured hot tap water into a Pyrex broiling pan, which shattered due to the extreme difference in temperature. The bread, due to the moisture in the dough, had attained a good crust without the added steam that the water was to create, so I see no need to try that again. We have enough dough for another loaf that we’ll bake this weekend.

Expect to see several posts on different types of breads!

April Ice Cream: Green Tea

The mixer in action.


It had to be done. Green tea ice cream.

This is also another recipe that I will need to make again for better results. I got the recipe from Essentials of Asian Cuisine: Fundamentals and Favorite Recipes by Corinne Trang. It called for 1/3 cup of matcha green tea and 3/4 cups of sugar, and they are to be blended with the half-and-half until it turns green. I used instead the Japanese Sweet Green Iced Tea blend from a shop called Teaism, which combines matcha and sugar.

However, 1/3 cup of this blend barely changed the color of the liquid, and I think I ended up throwing in close to 3/4 cup. I think this may be because my tea is fairly old and has lost its freshness, so I want to try again with a fresher canister. However, the ice cream tastes fine– I just want more tea flavor.

Stay tuned for the next ice cream, which may also be Asian-inspired!

March Ice Cream: Cardamom


I think(!) I’ve hit the winning combination for the consistency of ice cream that I like. The power of 3 for 3/3!

3 cups half-and-half
3 egg yolks
3/4 – 1 cup sugar
Churn for 30 minutes.

This month’s ice cream is cardamom. Steep 8 slightly crushed cardamom pods in warmed half-and-half and sugar for about an hour. Temper the yolks by adding some of the mixture, then put it all back in the pot and heat until the custard registers to 175-180 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring constantly. Fish out the cardamom pods and then pour into a bowl, letting it cool before putting it into the refrigerator to chill overnight. Follow the instructions for your ice cream maker.

The ice cream looks like your ordinary crema, but the slightly nutty and spice-y cardamom makes its presence known, gently.

We heard on an episode of The Splendid Table a suggestion to add cardamom ice cream to kriek lambic. The photo you see here is with framboise– the tartness of the lambic is nicely tempered by the ice cream. I like the pink color, too.

Your flavored creams and ices
And your dainty angel-food
Are mighty fine devices
To regale the dainty dude;
Your terrapin and oysters,
With wine to wash ‘em down,
Are just the thing for roisters
When painting of the town;
No flippant, sugared notion
Shall my appetite appease,
Or bate my soul’s devotion
To apple-pie and cheese!

~”Apple-pie and Cheese,” by Eugene Field (1850-1895). Full poem can be found here. (Hat tip to villagecharm)

Join the movement.


This effort was pretty good, but not without some major flaws.

What turned out right:
1. The base ice cream was a simple crema, from Alice Medrich’s book, Pure Dessert. I was skeptical about making ice cream that didn’t have any flavorings– just cream, eggs, and sugar– but I shouldn’t have been. The unadulterated cream taste is clean and lovely.

2. The salted caramel is addictive! I am a big fan of the salty-sweet combination, and this caramel has the perfect blend of the two tastes. The recipe is from David Lebovitz’s book Perfect Scoop.

What went wrong:
1. I’ve been experimenting with the fat content. My very first attempt was with 2 parts heavy cream, 1 part whole milk, and 4 egg yolks. This was rich and creamy, and easy to scoop, but I felt it was too rich– the fat coated my mouth well after the ice cream was eaten. The next attempt, with yogurt, was less rich, but the lower fat content resulted in some ice crystals and difficult scoopability.

This time, I used 2 parts half-and-half, 1 part whole milk, and 3 egg yolks. It’s close, but still not quite right. I want just a tad more richness. I’ll keep playing with the ingredients.

2. As you can see from the photo, I was comically heavy-handed with the caramel. It was supposed to be layered into the ice cream, like a ripple. Instead, there are huge chunks of hard, sticky caramel embedded. The next time I make this (and there will be a next time!), instead of layering it after it has been churned, I will drizzle it in the last few minutes of churning.

Despite the mishaps, it still tastes delicious, and Lipby and I can’t seem to stop dipping our spoons into the container.

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