Baby Donvier Has Arrived!

31 03 2012

Baby Donvier, 1/2 pint, about 6 inches tall.

I am thrilled to announce a new addition to my ice cream equipment family!  Baby Donvier arrived yesterday, only four short days after a successful bid on Ebay.  It arrived in perfect condition, having been protectively enveloped in bubble wrap and nestled in a solid cardboard box for its journey from California to its new home in Vancouver, Canada.  It was the right time to add Baby Donvier to my family, and I know it will bring me great joy for years to come.

You see, when I decided to embark on this sweet, culinary adventure, I must admit I had some concerns about the potential implications on my waistline.  My large Donvier ice cream maker (now known as Big Don) is best suited for recipes that yield one quart of ice cream. 

One quart per week x 52 weeks = a whole pile of jeans that won’t fit (even if I share).

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Calamondin and Honey Ice Cream (#3)

27 03 2012

Mystery ingredient of the week: Calamondin oranges

It’s harvest time in my boss’s office.  You will recall last week, my boss gave me a Meyer lemon off one of the plants in his office, which made its way into a batch of Meyer Lemon Ice Cream.  This week, I found a number of Calamondin oranges on my desk, also from one of his plants.  I feel like I’m on an episode of Chopped: here’s your mystery ingredient… now go!  Make some ice cream!

Calamondins are new to me.  Also known as Calamansi or Kalamansi, they are a small citrus fruit reminiscent of kumquats.  They have a thin edible rind, puckering bite, and are quite intense in flavour.  The fruit is indigenous to the Phillippines, where it is used in cooking as a flavouring, marinade, or condiment.  It is also often mixed with honey and served over ice as a refreshing drink — perfect inspiration for an ice cream recipe.

Using honey (rather than sugar) made for a lusciously smooth and scoopable ice cream — I will definitely try to incorporate honey into more of my ice cream recipes.  The flavour of the Calmondins was apparent, but not overwhelming.  If you can’t find Calamondin oranges, kumquats could probably be substituted with similar results.

Calamondin & Honey Ice Cream  (Makes about 1 quart)

For the Calamondin syrup:

2/3 cup water
1/3 cup mild honey
1/2 cup finely chopped Calamondin oranges, plus their juice

For the ice cream:

2 eggs
1/3 cup mild honey
Pinch sea salt
2 cups half-and-half cream
1 cup whipping cream

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Meyer Lemon Ice Cream (#2)

21 03 2012

My boss has the most bizarre microclimate in his backyard.  Although Vancouver is listed as being in Zone 8a using the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones, he is, somehow, able to grow Zone 9b to 10 plants — plants that would normally grow in places like California or Florida.  These include: acai berries, bananas, feather palms, ginger, pomegranate, and Satsuma oranges.  His subtropical green thumb extends to the plant life in his office.  Check out this Meyer lemon plant on his windowsill.  It bears fruit.  Actual fruit!

Meyer lemon plant with full sized fruit

For those unfamiliar with Meyer lemons, they are the sweeter cousin of the lemons you usually see, which are also known as Eureka lemons.  Meyers are thought to be a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange — hence their sweeter taste and slightly rounder shape.  The other morning, I came into work to find my boss had snipped a fruit off his plant and had left it on my desk.  Perfect!  That, along with a bunch of Meyers I picked up from Granville Island over the weekend, yielded enough juice for a delightfully sweet and tart batch of Meyer Lemon Ice Cream.  If you can’t find Meyer lemons, regular lemons will do just as well in this recipe.

Meyer Lemon Ice Cream (makes about 1 pint)

Adapted from Epicurious

1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 4 lemons)
1/2 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

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Classic Vanilla Ice Cream (#1)

14 03 2012

Over a dozen pies at the office for Pi Day 2012!

Back in my university days at Waterloo, I was very grateful to have a number of friends in the Math Department.  The Mathies not only threw great parties, but they also introduced me to Pi Day (thanks MK!).  On March 14th at 1:59pm, you eat pie.  π = 3.14159.  Hee hee.

When I started working, I thought it’d be nice idea to introduce this rather tasty and quirky tradition to the Planning Department.  There’s no better way to shake and sugar up an otherwise dreary winter afternoon than indulging in ridiculous amounts of pie.  Admittedly, I have never baked or even bought a pie to share on Pi Day.  I’ve always been the ice cream gal.  Store bought, sorry — this was before acquiring my trusty Donvier ice cream maker.  But for Pi Day 2012 and as a great way to launch this blog, I thought it’d be an opportune time to crank out a batch of homemade Classic Vanilla Ice Cream, the perfect accompaniment for all things pie.

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream  (Makes about 1 quart)

2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1.5 cups half-and-half cream
1.5 cups whipping cream
2 vanilla beans or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

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