A little air time for 52 Scoops, plus workshop success!!

29 01 2013

What a fantastic day!  CBC Radio called this morning wanting to do a little interview on my adventures in ice cream making and the Homemade Ice Cream workshop I was leading this evening at Tommy Douglas Library in Burnaby.  You can listen to my interview with Stephen Quinn here.  The interview starts at 7:55.

The workshop itself was super fun.  Sixty people — young, old, and every age in between — all interested in ICE CREAM!!!  Many thanks to Roberta at Tommy Douglas Library for hosting the event, the wonderful volunteers at Burnaby Food First for all the help in the kitchen and for inspiring people to think about food security, and my co-workers Rebekah and Leah for helping me prep six batches of ice cream over the weekend.  A post on the workshop will likely be popping up on Burnaby Food First’s blog in the coming days, so be sure to meander over to their blog to check it out!

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Pomegranate Ice Cream (#46-E)

27 01 2013

Pomegranates are a fascinating fruit.  Crack one of these guys open and there are hundreds of red, jewel-toned seeds (AKA arils) inside.  Beautiful.

pomegranate, pomegranate seeds

Pomegranates have hundreds of gorgeous red seeds inside.

Pomegranates are typically available during the fall and winter.  They are considered a superfood and loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fibre.  If I can get my superfoods in ice cream format, all the better!!

I thought the simplest way of making Pomegranate Ice Cream would be to go Philly-style, simply whirling pomegranate syrup into some cream and adding a handful of pomegranate seeds at the end of the churning process for some texture.  I used Alton Brown’s recipe for pomegranate syrup, which involves cooking pomegranate juice, sugar, and a squeeze of lemon juice into a thick syrup.  Pomegranate juice can be found at higher end grocery stores.  I used a bottle of POM 100% pure pomegranate juice for this recipe.  If you are inclined to juice your own pomegranates, the POM council lists three methods on its FAQ page.  Make sure you’re not wearing any white clothing!  You will need at least eight pomegranates for 1 litre of juice.

Be sure to let the pomegranate syrup cool completely before you whisk in the cream.  If you add cold cream to hot syrup, the mixture will curdle and there will be no way to rescue it.

This egg-free ice cream has a very concentrated, rich, fruity taste, with a hint of tannins during the first few bites.  The frozen pomegranate seeds add a delightful pop in the mouth.  Overall, Pomegranate Ice Cream is a winner in my books!

Pomegranate Ice Cream (Makes about 1.25 L)

4 cups of 100% pure pomegranate juice
1/2 cup white sugar
Juice of half a lime (I love the combination of pomegranate and lime; feel free to use lemon as Alton suggests)
3 cups half-and-half cream
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup of pomegranate seeds
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A Little Ink for 52 Scoops!

23 01 2013

Exciting!  One of the local papers has published a fun little story on my adventures in ice cream making over the last year!  Check out the Burnaby Newsleader’s article here.

For those who are interested in attending my January 29th workshop on Ice Cream Making at Tommy Douglas Library in Burnaby, I’m afraid that the workshop has filled up.  But I hope that doesn’t stop you from exploring the 52 Scoops website and trying out some ice cream recipes!





Purple Yam and Coconut Ice Cream (#45-D/E)

18 01 2013

This week’s recipe features another tuber: the purple yam.  Purple yams are commonly used in the Philippines, where they are known as ube.  In North America, you can buy purple yams at most Asian green grocers.  You can also find them in some conventional grocery stores, alongside potatoes and sweet potatoes.  Purple yams have a reddish-brown skin and the most delightful purple insides.

purple yam, purple sweet potato, ube

Look at this gorgeous colour!

Purple yam and coconut are a common combination in Filipino desserts, such as ube macapuno cake and halo halo.  With this in mind, I thought I’d give purple yam and coconut ice cream a try.

This is a super simple ice cream recipe.  You puree peeled and boiled yams with some coconut milk, soy milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt and – ta da! –  your custard is done and ready for chilling.  Yes, finally, another dairy-free and egg-free ice cream recipe!

I had a bit of a chuckle as I was pouring the custard into the ice cream maker.  It was super thick and goopy because of the richness of the coconut milk and the starch in the yams, and the colour reminded me of McDonald’s Grimace character.  As for taste, the Official Taster claims it’s “gentle”.  Huh???  I will interpret that to mean “an ice cream with a soft, pillowy texture, wonderful coconut flavour, and subtle undertones of purple yam”.

Keep in mind this ice cream freezes up quite hard overnight.  Enjoy it as soon as it is chilled to serving consistency.  If you need to freeze it longer, give it a good 15 to 20 minutes on the counter to warm up before scooping.

Purple Yam and Coconut Ice Cream (makes about 1.5 L)

2 cups of purple yams, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 – 13.5 oz (400 ml) can coconut milk
1.5 cup soy milk (or substitute dairy milk)
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of sea salt

  1. Place the yams into a medium-sized sauce pan, cover with water, and bring to boil.  Let simmer for about 20 minutes, until the yams are fork tender.  Drain the yams, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water.
  2. Tip the yams and the reserved cooking water into a blender and puree until smooth.

    Purple yam puree, purple sweet potato puree, ube puree

    Purple yam puree

  3. Add the coconut milk, soy milk, sugar, and salt into the blender.  Puree until very smooth.
  4. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  5. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Purple yam coconut ice cream, purple yam ice cream, ube ice cream

The Official Taster says: “Gentle.”





Sweet Potato and Kahlua Ice Cream (#44)

10 01 2013

Ahhh, sweet potatoes!  Packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fibre, these bad boys are one of my favourite superfoods.  They were on sale last week, so I bought a big pile.

Yams

Sweet potatoes are one of my favourite superfoods.

I baked the sweet potatoes with every intention of eating them plain as I usually do, but then I thought, hey, why not incorporate them into this week’s ice cream recipe?  I’ve tried a few veggie ice cream recipes now — Mint and Peas Ice Cream, Carrot Cake Ice Cream, and Beet and Orange Ice Cream — so Sweet Potato Ice Cream should hardly be considered weird!

Baked sweet potato, baked yam

Fresh out of the oven and oozing with sweetness!

So I peeled them, tipped them into the blender, and stirred the silky orange puree into a basic custard along with a few spoonfuls of Kahlua.  Results?  This was an interesting one.  The taste of the sweet potato and the Kahlua were both fairly subtle, emerging only after the third or fourth bite.  As with the Beet and Orange Ice Cream, I found I really had to focus to figure out what flavours I was tasting.  The ice cream was also surprisingly not very sweet, considering I used my standard 3/4 cup of sugar and also had the natural sugars in the sweet potatoes.  Depending on your tastes, you might want to the increase the sugar to 1 cup or give the ice cream an extra drizzle of Kahlua or maple syrup.

Sweet Potato and Kahlua Ice Cream (makes about 1.5 L)

3 medium or 5 small orange sweet potatoes (enough to yield 1.5 cups of baked sweet potato puree)
3 cups half-and-half cream
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
Pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons Kahlua liqueur

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Scrub the sweet potatoes under cold running water.  Prick the potatoes a few times to let steam release while baking.  Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until soft when pierced with a fork.  Let cool.
  2. Peel the skin off the sweet potatoes.  Tip the potatoes into a blender and puree until smooth.  Measure out 1.5 cups of puree.  Set aside.
  3. In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  4. Add 2 cups of the half-and-half cream and the salt.
  5. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
  6. Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining cup of the half-and-half to stop the cooking.  Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.
  7. When the custard is cool, whisk in the sweet potato puree and the Kahlua.
  8. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  9. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Sweet potato and kahlua ice cream, sweet potato pie ice cream

The Official Taster says: “This is a slow-release taste ice cream. “





Homemade Ice Cream Workshop – January 29

8 01 2013

Fantastico!  I’m excited to announce that I’ve been invited to hold a workshop on Ice Cream Making as part of Burnaby Food First’s 2013 workshop series!   This free workshop will be held on Tuesday, January 29 from 6:00 pm to 7:15 pm at Tommy Douglas Library in Burnaby (7311 Kingsway).  If you are interested in attending, please email burnabyfoodfirst@gmail.com or call 604-570-3623 to reserve a space.





Fig and Balsamic Ice Cream (#43)

4 01 2013

My parents used to have a fig tree in their backyard.  Fresh figs off that tree were amazing – honey sweet, gooey insides, and crunchy seeds.  I was absolutely dismayed when they cut it down last summer because it was producing too much fruit.  (???!!!)  Since then, I’ve resorted to eating dried figs.  Though they will never compare to fresh ones, I have taken quite a liking to them.

Santa Claus just so happened to leave a large bag of organic, sundried, unsulphured calimyrna figs in my stocking for Christmas this year.  A small gesture, perhaps, to acknowledge the loss of my beloved fig tree.  Perfect for making a simple fig and balsamic vinegar compote than can be swirled into ice cream.

Dried figs

Dried calimyrna figs…

Calimyrna figs

Chopped up…

Fig balsamic jam

And cooked into a sweet-tart compote.

The fig balsamic compote recipe yields about 1 cup.  You can churn all of it into the ice cream, or save a couple spoonfuls to serve with some blue cheese and crackers — that’s what I did!

Fig & Balsamic Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

Ice Cream: (Makes about 1 L)

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Fig Balsamic Compote: (Makes about 1 cup)

1 cup dried, finely chopped figs
1 cup water
1 or 2 tablespoons white sugar (to taste)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

For the Ice Cream:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, lightly whisk together the eggs and sugar.
  2. Add 2 cups of the half-and-half cream.
  3. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (170 degrees F / 77 degrees C).
  4. Remove from heat immediately and add the remaining half-and-half to stop the cooking.  Place the saucepan into an ice bath to cool the custard rapidly.  Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Chill overnight in the fridge.

For the Fig Compote:

  1. While the ice cream is chilling, prepare the compote.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat until the figs are soft and plump and the liquid evaporates, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally.
  3. Remove from the heat, cool, and chill overnight in the fridge.

To Finish

  1. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. In the final stages of churning, add the fig and balsamic compote and churn to distribute throughout the ice cream.
  3. Chill thoroughly in the freezer until firm.
Fig and Balsamic Ice Cream

The Official Taster says: “I wonder what this would taste like with blue cheese.”








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