Monday, July 02, 2007

I Did Not Find My Thrill on Blueberry Hill

Week two of the summer '07 ice cream challenge found me going the fruit route, with Blueberry Ice Cream from Ice Creams & Sorbets by Lou Seibert Pappas. Unlike last week's Mint Chip recipe, this was an egg-free version, a straightforward blend of berries, lemon, sugar, milk, heavy cream and vanilla extract.

Perhaps now's a good time for me to explain that there are two basic kinds of ice cream: with eggs and without. The former, sometimes called French-style, is made by cooking egg yolks and cream on the stovetop until a custard forms. Then you cool the custard, mix it with the other ingredients (i.e., strawberries, chocolate chips, etc.) and churn it in an ice cream maker. Conversely, the eggless version, known as Philadelphia-style, comes together much more quickly, because you usually just mix up milk, cream, sugar and your other ingredients and churn them in the machine. French-style ice cream is usually creamy and decadent. Philly-style is a tiny bit lighter and fresh tasting.

So this Blueberry Ice Cream was Philly-style, and involved cooking the berries on the stove with a touch of water until they became tender, and then pureeing them in a blender. Then I mashed some lemon zest with a little sugar to release the oils, heated milk and some more sugar in a saucepan, and stirred in the blueberry puree, cream, sugared zest, lemon juice and vanilla. I put this in the fridge to chill for about three hours, had a yummy lunch at Markt with Fork, and then churned the ice cream.

I give this ice cream points for uniqueness. It has a delicate flavor that almost doesn't taste like blueberry, even a little aromatic and perfumy. I can't say I'm thrilled with it, but what does thrill me is its color: very Violet Beauregard.--S

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