Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream (#61)

8 09 2013

My mother in law stopped by yesterday and brought along a huge bag of goodies from her garden: beautiful heirloom tomatoes, yellow cherry tomatoes, amazingly fragrant basil, green beans, and rhubarb.   Rhubarb typically peaks in the spring, but I guess when you have your own garden, anything goes… or grows!

I suppose I could have gotten creative with the tomatoes or the basil (green bean ice cream would have been pushing it), but I thought a rhubarb ice cream recipe would be safest.  I have already developed recipes for Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream, Rhubarb Ginger Ice Cream, and most recently Rhubarb Orange Star Anise Frozen Yogurt.  What next?

I scanned the kitchen and zeroed in on a canister of old fashioned rolled oats I had on the counter.  With autumn just around the corner, a Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream was in order.

I love rhubarb crumble, and I love it even more when it’s topped with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Trouble is, the warm fruit usually melts the ice cream.  Unless you inhale your dessert, you end up with a bowl of soupy, fruity cream!  Solution?  An ice cream recipe that captures the sweet-tangy taste of cooked rhubarb and the satisfying crunch of a buttery crumble topping.  Enjoy.

Cook down rhubarb, orange zest, OJ, and sugar...

Rhubarb, orange zest, sugar, and orange juice…

rhubarb orange compote

… cooked into a luscious compote.

crumble topping

A quick crumble topping made of oats, flour, butter, and brown sugar.

Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

Ice Cream:

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Rhubarb Orange Compote (makes 1 cup):

2.5 cups of chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup of sugar
Juice and zest of one orange

Crumble Topping

1/4 cup of butter
1/3 cup of flour
1/3 cup of old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup of brown sugar
Pinch of salt

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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.”





Cranberry Orange Ginger Ice Cream (#31)

11 10 2012

The taste of fall continues!  This week’s ice cream features the BC cranberry.

British Columbia is one of the largest cranberry growing regions in the world.  Most cranberry bogs in BC are in the Lower Fraser Valley, with a few over on Vancouver Island.  Every fall, when the berries ripen and turn a gorgeous, deep red colour, cranberry farmers flood their fields in preparation for harvesting.  A harvester is then driven through the beds to shake the berries off the vines and into the water.  The berries, which are filled with little air pockets, float at the surface until they are corralled, transferred onto trucks, and whisked off for further processing.  Check out Lauren Robertson’s video about her trip to a cranberry farm in Delta, BC during harvest time — the sea of red berries is incredibly dramatic.  Lucky gal, I’d love to dance in a cranberry bog and scoop up fresh berries to use in all my fall recipes.  But until that time, I’ll rely on the fresh berries I get at the supermarket.

This ice cream recipe marries a delightfully tart Cranberry Orange Ginger Compote with sweet vanilla ice cream.  The compote is incredibly easy to make, taking about 15 minutes from start to finish.  I’d suggest doubling the compote recipe, saving the extras to serve with roast chicken or turkey, spread onto a deli sandwich, or dollop over hot cereal, pancakes, or waffles (along with a generous pour of maple syrup, of course!)

cranberry sauce

Cranberry Orange Ginger Compote — tastes like fall!

Even after making a double batch of compote, I still have extra cranberries on hand.  Readers, do you have any cranberry recipes you’d like to share with me?

Cranberry Orange Ginger Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

Ice Cream: (Makes about 1.25 L)

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

Cranberry Orange Ginger Compote:

2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1 orange

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 Cranberry Orange Ginger Compote:

  1. While the ice cream is chilling, prepare the compote.
  2. Combine the first four ingredients in a heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cranberries pop and soften, about 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally.
  3. While the compote is cooking, zest the orange and chop finely.  Over a small bowl, peel and segment the orange, taking care to keep all the juice from the orange.  Cut each of the segments into small pieces.
  4. In the final two minutes of cooking, add the orange zest, juice, and segments to the compote.  Stir.
  5. 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. Spread a quarter of the ice cream into a chilled dish.  Spoon 1/3 of the compote in random dollops onto the ice cream.  Repeat another two times (3 layers of ice cream, 3 layers of compote).  Top with the remaining quarter of the ice cream.
  3. Chill thoroughly in the freezer until firm.
cranberry orange ginger ice cream

The Official Taster says: “This is one of my favourites! I love the contrast between sweet and tart.”





Hungarian Plum Dumpling Ice Cream (#26)

6 09 2012

Week #26!  This is the halfway mark in my year of ice cream making!  I’m pleased to report that I’ve only gained 3 lbs so far.  Bring on another 26 weeks.  I’m ready.

This week’s recipe is inspired by a dish originating from Hungary: szilvás gombóc, plum dumplings rolled in buttery cinnamon sugar bread crumbs.  I first learned of this dish from my co-worker Lisa, who travelled to Hungary some years ago, where she had authentic szilvás gombóc and — even better — szilvás gombóc flavoured ice cream.  After hearing about this, I endeavoured to try making both.

I came across Dog Hill Kitchen’s recipe for szilvás gombóc and thought I’d give it a try — after all, the recipe originates from someone’s Hungarian great-grandmother, so surely it must be authentic!

Dough for Hungarian plum dumplings

Mix together flour, mashed potato, and egg.  This is almost like making a gnocchi dough.

Italian prune plums and cinnamon sugar

Slice open Italian prune plums and fill the centres with cinnamon sugar.

Hungarian plum dumpling

Roll or pat a portion of the dough into the circle and place the cinnamon sugar filled plum in the centre.

Hungarian plum dumplings

Form the dough around the plum and pinch the top together. These will be giant dumplings!  Cook them for 10 minutes in boiling water.

Cinnamon sugar buttered breadcrumbs

While the dumplings are cooking, melt some butter, and add some breadcrumbs, cinnamon, and sugar.

Cinnamon sugar buttered breadcrumbs

Cook until golden brown and fragrant.

Hungarian plum dumplings

When the dumplings are cooked, drain well with a slotted spoon, and roll each one in the buttery cinnamon sugar breadcrumbs.

Hungarian plum dumpling

The dumpling sliced open! Yum!

Hungarian plum dumplings

Even better: if you use perfectly ripe Italian prune plums, the dumplings will be filled with juicy plum goodness!

Now, how to capture the taste of plum dumplings in ice cream?  I decided the best method was to cook Italian prune plums with some cinnamon and sugar until they were thick and saucy and then swirl the compote, along with some buttery cinnamon sugar breadcrumbs,  into a delicate vanilla ice cream.  The results?  AMAZING.  This recipe is currently ranked among my Top 3 ice cream recipes (Mango Ice Cream with Chili Sea Salt and Black Forest Ice Cream being my two other current favourites).  The prune plums cook down to a gorgeous fuchsia colour and the breadcrumbs add a delightful sweet crunch to the ice cream.  Élvez!  Enjoy!

Hungarian Plum Dumpling Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

Ice Cream

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

Plum Compote

2 1/2 cups diced Italian prune plums
1/3 c white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cinnamon Sugar Breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup coarse bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons white sugar

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Blueberry Lemon Basil Ice Cream (#20)

26 07 2012

I was hoping to get this post up earlier, but I ran into some technical difficulties a couple of days ago: I discovered that my Donvier Chillfast cylinder, which I normally store in the freezer, wasn’t frozen solid and icy cold, but was melty and sloshing around!  How could that be?!  I had turned down the freezer to its coldest setting the night before to make sure the cylinder would be as cold as possible.  Was my freezer on the fritz?  The cylinder itself?  Luckily, it was neither.  It turned out that the Official Taster was in a pinch to quickly chill two kegs of beer and had grabbed the Chillfast cylinder and submerged it in a tubful of water, along with the kegs and a couple bags of ice cubes.  Official Taster, you owe me some extra dish washing for thisSurely the ice cubes alone would have been sufficient!  So, this set me back half a day while I re-froze the cylinder.  On the upside though, my custard had some extra time to “age” in the fridge.

Week #20’s flavour came to me when I was shopping at my local produce store.  Blueberries!  Only $1.89/lb!  That’s about as cheap as U-pick, with all the picking done for you!  Blueberries pair well with so many different flavours – cinnamon, cardamom, basil, thyme, orange, and lemon to name a few.  I had a hard time deciding between blueberry-basil and blueberry-lemon, so I figured I’d develop an ice cream recipe containing all three.  So here we have Blueberry Lemon Basil Ice Cream: blueberry compote infused with lemon and basil, dolloped between layers of lemon basil ice cream.

jar of blueberry compote

The blueberry compote, along with a big spoonful of ricotta cheese, would be a great topping for waffles!

Alternating layers of ice cream with random dollops of compote creates a marbled effect that allows the creamy yellow colour of the ice cream to be retained.  Marbling also lets you enjoy the subtle flavours of the lemon basil ice cream on its own as well as with the occasional mouthful of blueberry goodness.  Another option is to swirl the blueberry compote into the ice cream in the final stages of churning, similar to Week 13’s Rhubarb Ginger Ice Cream and Week 16’s Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream.  This would result in a purple-blue ice cream with berries evenly distributed throughout.  Either way, Blueberry Lemon Basil Ice Cream makes for a perfect summer treat!

blueberry lemon basil ice cream

Blueberry compote marbled into lemon basil ice cream.

Blueberry Lemon Basil Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

Ice Cream

2 eggs
3/4 cups white sugar
1 tbsp finely chopped lemon zest
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cups half-and-half cream

Blueberry Compote (makes about 1.5 cups)

2 1/2 cups of blueberries, divided
1/3 c sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil

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Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream (#16)

27 06 2012

When I posted my recipe for Rhubarb and Ginger Ice Cream a few weeks ago, I had every intention of posting a sister recipe — Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream — the week following.  But alas, sweet local strawberries were no where in sight.  Vancouver’s wet, grey, and ch-chilly June weather meant a delay in the ripening of local strawberries.  While you can buy fresh strawberries at the grocery store at almost any time of the year now, those giant red berries coming out of California have spongy interiors and don’t seem to have much taste.  (Find out why in this NPR article.)  Local strawberries, on the other hand, while smaller in size, are darling little red gems bursting with flavour and sweetness.  And finally, THEY ARE READY!!!

strawberries

Hooray, local strawberries are FINALLY in season!

The last time I checked, U-pick strawberries out in Richmond or the Fraser Valley are about $1.50 / lb, harvested berries at the farm gate around $2.00 to $2.50 / lb, and berries at the local farmers market or produce shops around $4.00 to $5.00 / lb.  It is definitely worth spending a couple hours in the U-pick fields or spending a few extra dollars for local berries – they will not disappoint!

This recipe employs the same method as Rhubarb Ginger Ice Cream: cooking a fruit compote, then swirling it into a plain ice cream.  You can, optionally, puree and strain the compote and then mix it into the custard prior to churning, but I prefer having larger pieces of fruit mixed into the ice cream.  Yum, a true taste of summer, at last!!

strawberry rhubarb compote

Strawberry rhubarb compote.  Make extra to use as a topping for toast, waffles, pancakes, or yogurt

Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.5 L)

Ice Cream

2 eggs
1/2  cup white sugar
1/4 cup mild honey
3 cups half-and-half cream

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote (makes about 1.5 cups)

2 cups of chopped rhubarb
1/4 c sugar
2 tbsp water
1 c hulled and quartered strawberries

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Rhubarb Ginger Ice Cream (#13)

8 06 2012

Week #13!  This means I’m 25% through my year of ice cream making.  So far, I’m having loads of fun time developing new recipes and churning out batch after batch of delectable home made ice cream.

I really like using fresh, local ingredients, so I recently put out a call to my co-workers: If you grow interesting things in your backyard and want to bring me some freshly harvested goodies, I can probably transform it into ice cream for you.  And the next day, I came to work and found a bunch of rhubarb on my desk.  (Thanks Hildie!)

bunch of fresh rhubarb

Freshly picked rhubarb

Rhubarb is a fascinating vegetable.  It looks like pink celery and has an absolutely puckering bite if you try to eat it raw.  I thought this bunch of rhubarb ought to be cooked into a luscious compote loaded with ginger, then swirled into an ice cream custard.  Don’t be scared by the amount of ginger called for in the compote.  When mixed into the ice cream, there’s a wonderful balance of sweet and heat.  If you have a lot of rhubarb on hand, double the compote recipe and save some for topping yogurt, waffles, pancakes, or toast.

Jar of rhubarb ginger compote

Rhubarb ginger compote

Rhubarb Ginger Ice Cream  (Makes about 1.25 L)

Ice Cream:

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

Rhubarb Ginger Compote (makes 1 cup):

2.5 cups of chopped rhubarb
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c peeled, finely grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp water

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