Saturday, June 25, 2011

I scream, You scream, We all scream for ice cream

Without a doubt, The Perfect Scoop is my favorite cookbook. I have about 30 cookbooks, and hundreds, if not thousands, of recipes bookmarked via blogs, epicurious, Cook's Illustrated, and King Arthur Flour, just to name a few sources. I very rarely repeat dessert recipes, but ice cream is an exception.

David Lebovitz was recently in Chicago promoting his gig with Spice Islands as a Flavor Explorer and his latest book, The Sweet Life in Paris. He had a book signing event at Hotel Allegro, which is conveniently just blocks away from my office. Of course, I brought my copy of The Perfect Scoop and picked my paperback copy of The Sweet Life in Paris since proceeds of the book sale went to Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance. He graciously signed both of my books and posed for a picture with me!
I bought the ice cream attachment for my Kitchen Aid a couple of years ago, and ever since, I can count the number of times on one hand in which I have bought ice cream from the store. Homemade ice cream is so much better than anything you can buy in a store. You can control the quality of ingredients that you use, which results in something wonderfully rich and milky tasting. Once you start making ice cream, you can play around with the recipes a bit. The Philadelphia style vanilla ice cream is one of our favorites. I try to keep this in the freezer at all times as it is the perfect accompaniment to many desserts. Since I make this so regularly, I get my heavy cream and vanilla beans from Costco. They sell 10 vanilla beans for about $12 around the holidays. I keep them in the fridge, and they last all year long until they reappear in stores for the next holiday season. The vanilla beans are long and plump with vanilla seeds.

With the strawberries in our most recent CSA, I decided to surprise A with strawberry cheesecake ice cream. His favorite desserts are cheesecake and strawberry shortcake, so why not combine them? I made the base for the cheesecake ice cream and added in a half batch of strawberry sauce. I also found a recipe for graham cracker crumble, but made a few adjustments. For an ice cream without any yolks, this is creamy, most likely attributable to the combination of both cream cheese and sour cream.

Cheesecake Ice Cream
Makes 3 cups

8 oz cream cheese, softened, cut into small pieces
1 c (240 g) sour cream
1/4 c milk
1/4 c heavy cream 
2/3 c (130 g) sugar
Pinch of salt
1 lemon, zested 

Place all of the ingredients into a blender, then zest the lemon over ingredients. Blend and puree until smooth. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator. Freeze the mixture in the ice cream maker as instructed by the manufacturer. Add strawberry sauce during the last minute to incorporate. 

Strawberry Sauce
Makes 1 cup

3/4 lb (337.5 g) fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
2 tbsp (25 g) sugar
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

 Puree ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Press puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds. Use as a mix-in or a topping for cheesecake ice cream. (Can be stored in refrigerator for up to 3 days)

Graham Cracker Crumble

4 whole graham crackers
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat. In the bowl of a mini food processor, process graham crackers into fine, sandy crumbs. Add brown sugar and process again. Add melted butter, vanilla, and salt and process until combined.
Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet, and form a large "cookie" in an even layer. Bake about 12-15 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack to cool completely. Break graham cracker crumble into pieces. Use as an ice cream topping and store remainder in an airtight container.

1 comment:

  1. Looks so delicious! My mother-in-law opened a gelato store several years ago so my ice cream-making skills are quite rusty. I might need to break out the ice cream maker to try my hand at this!