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Archive for the ‘Ice Cream’ Category

Pie Off Pics, originally uploaded by cremarie.

The Pie Off was a total success – good friends, beautiful weather, delicious pies – what else could you ask for on a labor day weekend? I haven’t quite figured flickr out yet, so to see the Pie Off pictures (with comments), click on “Pie Off Pics” above and scroll through…

I gave this one my all, but failed to bring home the blue ribbon.  As you can see from the pics, it was a killer competition!

There’s always next year!

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You may have noticed the creamy, luscious yellow-flecked accompaniment on my last post – evidence that my ice cream obsession has not yet passed.  We still haven’t made it through the last batch, but the farm share lemons from a couple of weeks ago were yelling at me from the fruit bowl.  Soft, beginning to wrinkle and heavy with juice, they were jealous of the attention that all these apricots were getting, and begged to be used.

I’m a giver, really.

Fresh Lemon Ice Cream from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

2 lemons, unsprayed (organic)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)

2 cups half-and-half

Pinch of salt

Zest the lemons directly into a food processor or blender.  Add the sugar and blend until the lemon zest is very fine.  Add the lemon juice and blend until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Blend in the half-and-half and salt until smooth.

Chill for one hour, then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Yum – this is definitely my favorite ice cream yet.  It’s smooth and light, and the most refreshing touch of tartness – the perfect summer cone.

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We all Scream

Thanks, lovely apricot tree!  Well, I tell you what – I’d better get good at photographing ice cream pretty soon, because the streak has just begun.  Somebody invest in cones.

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From David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop:

Fresh Apricot Ice Cream

1 lb squishy-ripe fresh apricots (10-16, depending on size)

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup heavy cream

3 drops almond extract

A few drops freshly squeezed lemon juice

Slice open the apricots and remove the pits, then cut each apricot into sixths.  Cook the apricot pieces with the water in a covered medium, nonreactive saucepan over medium heat until tender, about 8 minutes, and stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until dissolved.  Let cool to room temperature.

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Try to stop yourself from grabbing a spoon at this point.  It gets even better, I swear.

Once cool, puree the apricots and any liquid in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Taste a big spoonful; if there are any small fibers, press the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove them (I may have skipped this step.  Strainers are a beast to clean, and I don’t mind a little extra stringiness).  Stir in the cream, almond extract, and lemon juice.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

All I have to say about this is – wow.  It’s like our tree in cone form.  Something about this mixture made it set up really quickly in my normally slow-moving ice cream maker.  I left it alone, and when I came back it had almost overflowed with this fluffy, tart, beautiful ice cream.  Orange things make me pretty happy (thanks for the birthday dishes, Jen!), so this dessert is likely to become a staple. 

Oh, and be sure you have a good little helper to help you clean up:

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We enjoyed a huge salad with apricots and goat cheese last night, and next up – apricot galette!  Any other sure-fire apricot winners out there that I should try?

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About six months ago, we got a visit from our landlord.  He oohed and aahed over our new garden spaces, and we all took a tour around the property.  After examining a seemingly on-its-way-out tree, he remembered that it had once fruited apricots!  He speculated that it hadn’t produced in thirty years, so we were welcome to cut it down to make space for something else. 

Sure glad we didn’t heed that advice, because a couple of months ago, we were graced with hundreds of tiny beautiful blossoms, the sign of things to come:

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And a few weeks ago, they came.  Tons of quickly ripening apricots.  If we could beat the birds, they were all ours!

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Apricots for breakfast, apricots for lunch, and soon thanks to my new book, apricots in ice cream!

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Ah, summer.  You bring long days and balmy nights, but take away all the beach street parking.  A small price to pay for a season wherein ice cream is always appropriate.  A cone before noon?  Well, as long as it’s hot.

After holding off for long enough, this Sunday we got out of the water after a nice surf session and headed straight to Borders.  I have heard far too much about The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz to resist.  It delivers on being the only ice cream book I can imagine needing.  Lebovitz has thought of everything from goat cheese ice cream (don’t think I won’t be trying this one) to home-made fudge ripple.

Immediately after bringing this book home, Chris and I sat on our porch step, leafing through the possibilities.  We soon realized that the introduction of this book in my life has made this the summer of ice cream.  Luckily, my neighbor is out of town for the month, and her freezer is practically empty – instant ice cream storage!

Our first choice was obvious – Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream.  The downside of being the cook is that you tend to get scared by seeing the nutritional content of the ingredients.  I’m afraid that sweetened condensed milk falls into this scary category.  Try to not look too closely – squint your eyes while pouring if need be.  It’s worth it.

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Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups (600 g) sweetened condensed milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 cups brewed espresso, or strongly brewed coffee, cooled

pinch finely ground dark roast coffee

Whisk these ingredients together, cool then freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.  Couldn’t be easier. 

This is the most decadent, amazing coffee ice cream I’ve ever tasted.  Of course, if you happen to have some homemade Texas Sheet Cake, it won’t hurt things.

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Cue the gentle jingle of the ice cream van (ours has been playing Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer)…

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