Strawberry Balsamic Frozen Yogurt with Balsamic Syrup (#58-Y)

20 05 2013

The Victoria Day Long Weekend calls for an impromptu dinner party, and an impromptu dinner party calls for quick, simple dishes:

French bread, tapenade, olives, bruschetta

Olives, bruschetta, tapenade, and crusty French bread.  (Pick up from the deli and ask the bakery to slice the bread for you.)

fennel orange salad


Fennel and orange salad with lemon olive oil dressing.  (Pre-washed spring mix is such a time saver!)

Linguine with clams, pasta with clams


Bucatini with Clams (An easy and impressive main with just 12 minutes of cooking time!)

And to finish, Strawberry Balsamic Frozen Yogurt.  But I’ll save that photo for the end of this post, along with the Official Taster’s comments 🙂

If you haven’t had strawberries with balsamic vinegar before, you must.  They are a classic and wonderfully complementary pairing, with the depth and tang of balsamic vinegar bringing out the sweetness of the strawberries.  Absolutely divine!

The recipe itself is deceptively simple: whirl together four ingredients, chill, and churn.  It’s fantastic served on its own, but dress it up with a drizzle of homemade balsamic syrup for that additional WOW factor.

Store any leftover syrup in a jar in the fridge — it will keep indefinitely.  The syrup will be very thick when it’s cold, so warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave before using it.  Try it drizzled over asparagus or a tomato bocconcini salad.

Strawberry Balsamic Frozen Yogurt with Balsamic Syrup  (Makes about 1.25 L)

For the frozen yogurt:

1 lb strawberries
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
3 cups of 2% plain Greek yogurt

For the balsamic syrup:

1 cup balsamic vinegar

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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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