Monday, June 25, 2007

Do Me a Flavor

I've decided to celebrate summer this year by making a different ice cream every week of the season. That means between now and Labor Day, I'll have made 11 varieties. Although I have owned an ice cream maker--the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker, ICE-30BC Series--for nearly two years and made about 14 flavors (pictured at right, green tea, from last fall), there are many varieties that I have yet to try. I hope a weekly routine will force me to step up and face some neglected classic flavors as well as some wacky experimental ones. It's going to be a grueling challenge, I know, and I'm going to be counting on your support to help me make it through. Support, in this case, will mean eating a different variety of ice cream every week until September. I know this is a lot to ask, but remember, there's no "I" in the phrase "We all scream for ice cream." Or no capital "I," anyway.

Here are the rules:
1. One frozen dessert every week. Acceptable frozen desserts are ice cream, sorbet, sherbet or granita. I'm leaving frozen yogurt out of this, since I made it once and it was awful.
2. When possible, ingredients are to come from the Union Square Greenmarket.
3. Recipes are to come from a variety of recent cookbooks:
Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts by Peggy Fallon (DK, 2007)
Ice Creams & Sorbets by Lou Seibert Pappas (Chronicle Books, 2007)
A Passion for Ice Cream by Emily Luchetti (Chronicle Books, 2006)
The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz (Ten Speed Press, 2007)
4. No repeats.

The games began yesterday, when I tackled the iconic Mint Chip Ice Cream, from Luchetti. No fake-green wintergreen here; this ice cream is a lovely cream color, looking more like vanilla than anything minty. But the flavor is definitely there: the recipe calls for steeping 3/4 cup mint leaves in warm custard (made from heavy cream, milk and egg yolks) for 15 minutes. I then strained out the leaves, and chilled the mixture overnight. Then, this morning, I churned the ice cream, folded in chopped bittersweet chocolate and froze it. The ice cream is fabulous. Cool and crunchy, not overly minty but surely refreshing. Happy summer.--S


Katy said...

Ohhh...recipe please? Gen-u-ine mint is my favorite. Flavor a week is a brilliant idea.

I'm, btw!

S & F said...

Ooooh, what pretty socks!

Mint Chip Ice Cream

1 1/4 c heavy (whipping) cream
1/4 c milk
1/4 c lightly packed fresh mint leaves
1 c sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/2 t kosher salt
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

In a medium, heavy saucepan, heat the cream, milk, mint, and 1/2 cup of the sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and steep the mint in the cream for 15 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and the salt. Slowly pour the hot liquid into the eggs, whisking as your pour. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant plastic or wooden spatula, until it reaches 175 degrees F and lightly coats the spatula. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl, discarding the mint. Cool over an ice bath until room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

In a food processor, using on-off pulses, grind the chocolate into small pieces. Put the chocolate in a bowl in the freezer. Churn the ice cream base in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. Place the ice cream in the bowl with the chocolate and fold the two together. Freeze until scoopable, about 4 hours, depending on your freezer.

Recipe courtesy of A Passion for Ice Cream by Emily Luchetti